Obama's address made me want to cry at a few points. In a good way. Being fairly uneducated when it comes to matters of politics, I am a little suspicious of any politician and always slightly worried that I'm being taken for a fool. Even so, I am one of those that tend to find Obama's addresses pretty inspiring. I was reminded of the "Fireside Talks" of the Roosevelt era. I like that we have a president who is encouraging us to unite as a country and appreciate what we have and who we are and what we stand for, and I like that we have a president who is, as far as I can tell, trying to get congress to cut the crap. For example: I know there are differences of opinion about earmarks, but I think that they're a terrible idea. For one thing, they allow candidates to run misleading negative ads about each other, because that bill that cut spending to schools might have also included tighter gun controls. I don't like that congressmen and -women are always having to choose the lesser of two evils, and prioritize the importance of all the issues in a bill. Even if it takes more time, I think that as much as possible, each issue should get a separate vote.
As a separate note, a staunch Republican (one who said in the comments on her own status message regarding Obama's address, "I can't like him and I think he is very bad for this country,") just "liked" my current facebook status: "No more earmarks? Living within our means? Making rich people pay taxes? THIS IS CRAZY TALK." I guess maybe my sarcasm wasn't loud enough. Just goes to show that, as they say, body language and vocal tone are the better part of communication.
On another note, it was overcast last night. Sometimes when I go walk Miley on nights like that, I tuck my chin and let my eyes droop and shuffle through, and see nothing. Sometimes instead I pay more attention to the things around me. I hear the way the roof of cloud holds in the sounds of the city, and listen to the jet in the distance and the cars on nearby streets, and hear every crunching leaf, and every jingle of Miley's collar. I look up and see the intricate pattern the fingers of the trees make against the sky, and notice the thin places in the cloud cover, where the sky looks as though it were sponge painted by the mighty and invisible hand of God. I gaze up at the single star shining through, and I turn the corner toward home.
For the last two or three nights (or maybe the last two before last night), the moon has looked as though, in crossing above the horizon, it rose through a deep pool of honey*. The honey color fell away as it rose higher into the night. Fell back into the sea beyond the end of the world, I guess.
I realized this evening that, living in a house, it is easy to forget the sound of a rain in a wood. It is a wonderful noise, and it is different from the sound of rain in a city or rain on a roof, and as it is also different from the sound of rain on an umbrella, an umbrella ruins it. It is a more dimensional, delicate, full sound than those, and if you are lucky enough to stand next to a creek during a gentle rain, you'll hear (or I hope you'll hear) a sweeter sound there, too. The creek might have swollen just a little, and the drops of rain landing on the water add still another element to the sweeping, rushing, happy gurgle of the stream.
Relatedly, I have remembered something I wanted to say earlier today: my absolutely most favorite sport ever in the whole world by far is umbrella jumping. I am reasonably certain that this doesn't exist, partially because umbrellas aren't usually built very well and largely because it almost certainly breaks some laws of physics (or at least meteorology on Earth), but every once in a while I get lucky enough to do it in my dreams. This happened last night, and let me tell you, it is so awesome. You get your (well made) umbrella and you wait for a really kick-ass wind or rain or thunder storm**, and you open your umbrella, and you go for a run. And you jump off things. And you jump over things or just up into the air and catch the lift of the wind with your umbrella like a kite. And you contort yourself to make it over things or just for fun, and you push off the sides of buildings and fling yourself from rooftops and laugh and spin and do acrobatics with the wind and rain in your face.*** If I get to design my own little corner of heaven (and God, I hope I do), it may mostly be like this.
*I remember the very first time I saw a moon like this. I was very young, younger than five I think, and I was sitting on a plastic tricycle on the sidewalk in front of a relative's house in North Carolina. Within five minutes of seeing the moon (I can't remember whether it was before or after), I skinned my toe on the concrete. I never did like shoes very much. Anyway, I had heard the term "honeymoon" and not known the meaning, and as soon as I saw the honey-colored moon I connected the two. For years I tried to reconcile the "post-wedding" aspect of a honeymoon with the moon I had seen. Were people only allowed to get married on the day preceding a honey moon? Did a honey moon happen after people's weddings? How did it know? And which people got one? Obviously it didn't happen after every wedding. Did those people not get honey moons, or was there some kind of fake one? That didn't seem fair. How were the lucky ones chosen?
It was a long time before I gave up on this doomed line of reasoning, and longer still before I found out that the honey color was and is caused by the moon reflecting the light of a sunset in some faraway land.
**If you aren't touching the ground, you don't conduct the electricity. So there.
***And then you go make out with a famous rap artist whose name you won't be able to remember the next morning. That last part is really a shame, too, because you're supposed to go on tour with him next week.