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Come, my friends…

November 6, 2008

Monday night, November 3, 2008.
The world is hushed, waiting for the sun to rise on what will be an historic day. While driving home this evening I listened raptly to Van Morrison and thought of sailing into the mystic. The sunset was darkening, pink and purple. A crescent moon silvered the sky, light blurring through a skiff of clouds. I had visions of alighting at home to some sort of restrained reverence, and contemplated for a bit the idea of taking a walk through the falling evening with the kids. Talking with them about the importance of November 4th.
I thought of reminding Soren that in four more years he would be called upon to cast his first vote. Telling Mira and Chiara that a woman’s right to vote in this country isn’t yet 100 years old, and mentioning to them that the right was officially granted on August 18th, 1920…then adding that August 18th was my official due date for both of them.
I imagined as well that any conversation with Graysen beneath the auditorium of stars would include a reprise of his complaint about the sun going down. He really wishes it wouldn’t do that.
But I could then tell him that perhaps one day he’ll be president and could consider supporting funding for research and development to find a way to keep that pesky sun from disappearing with such frequency.
And in between discussions about suffrage and inconvenient sunsets, I imagined we’d bond as a family unit, enjoy the quiet night and muse about the fact that there are roughly 100 billion stars in our galaxy alone.
Which makes everything seem remarkably insignificant.
But this isn’t quite how things went.
Instead, we ate a late dinner while the kids watched Ratatouille. Graysen practiced his fancy plate carrying moves, ala the rat in the movie, and didn’t make a mess … until later, when while simply picking up a glass of orange juice he dropped it.
On my laptop.
The mood soured after this. Attention turned to sundry details like cleaning up the sunshiney mess and ensuring that my computer survived (which it did, thank whatever God there may be).
At that point, it felt to the two tall and old people present (Chris and myself) that bedtime was upon us. Or, at least, it was upon the kids. Or should be.
Graysen didn’t like this idea.
He’s lately decided that he “hates” his bed.
What this means is that he has nightmares and equates these dreams to where he’s sleeping. Apparently, he sleeps best when he’s curled up between his daddy and me … and why on earth should we mind?
To his four-year-old mind, we shouldn’t have trouble sleeping with feet in our face. Elbows in our back. Splayed little legs kicking covers off.
We, as I’ve said before, are just silly.
Our efforts, filtered as they were through rather frayed nerves thanks to the orange juice debacle and election anticipation, were met with firm resistance.
Graysen got mad. He crossed his little arms, flopped on the bed and expressed extreme disapproval. When this disapproval began to disintegrate into a full-blown tantrum, I calmly offered him a pillow to hit.
And somehow this small action turned next into a massive family pillow fight. The pillows flew … the older kids joined in … and laughter once again filled the house.
An hour later, the kids were all sleeping, perhaps even more soundly than they might have had we not engaged in that final joyous blowout at bedtime.
And in the settling silence, my mind returned to the impending election that has transfixed this nation, and the world. I found myself eager for returns, unable to wait even a few more hours.
Though I have a strong opinion about who among the candidates will make the best leader, that point is now mostly moot. By the time this issue of the Free Press hits the streets, voting will be over. Vote counting will hopefully be over as well … I can’t imagine that anyone wants a reprise of the 2000 elections.
But no matter what happens, some will be disappointed. Perhaps I will be among them. I dearly hope, however, that despite the political differences moving through the populace, we can somehow find a united voice in this new day. For though we are a tiny spot in the Milky Way, this is significant.
Times like these remind me of my favorite poem by Tennyson, a portion of which I think is appropriate now. I hope this sentiment, which has informed my life in trying times, can be taken to our nation’s collective heart now. Onward.

Come, my friends.
‘T is not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.
It may be that the gulfs will wash us down;
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.
Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are,–
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

© 2008 Ana June. All rights reserved.

One Comment leave one →
  1. November 10, 2008 5:24 am

    nice article. i liked the article on rio puerco but couldn’t find a direct line of communication 🙂 great work!

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