Sunday, November 16, 2008


walking down the street tonight, i had one of those moments that i like to think of as movie moments... where the scenery surrounding you is so pretty, nature comes alive, and you feel like it's almost unnatural because it's perfect. movie like.

i was walking down the street around six, up north toward where i live and watching the first snowfall in chicago. it wasn't heavy snow, or big snowflakes. it was dust, the kind that really only shows up in street lights. but it glimmers. and it offers the feelings of a new season. the nostalgia of the holidays. the feeling of something new, something fresh.

a change.

i'd be lying if i said i walked down that street today and didn't think about where i was a year ago at this time.

either way, i enjoyed it. i put on my warmest coat, and instead of taking the bus, i walked. there are only so many days that you can actually enjoy the snow, because of course, this is the mild part. but it's still pretty now. it won't be in a few weeks.

i came home and went to dinner with a friend. and were both talking about how pretty the city looked and how happy we were to be here.

i came home to someone telling me that they missed me.
that they were down today. felt gray. that it was gray there.
that they wished they were here.
wished they could see me.

it takes every bone in my body to not respond with instinct, and that first instinct is to eat it up. to take every one of those words and yell "me too!" and "i thought of you all freaking night when i walked home tonight."
but i know that i can't do that.

my second instinct is to say, "you could have had all of that."

i just wonder why it has to be like that. and why it takes someone being lonely to realize what they've lost. i sometimes just wish we, as people, could just stay in that moment. and not leave it. to have never left that place i was in about a year ago.

but then i know that we'd never appreciate the times we were in the moment. as much as i want to be the eternal optimist and believe that life can be all euphoric and wonderful and no one ever has to get hurt, i know that the reason we love and remember the moments in our lives are because in some way, they made us feel something. and unfortunately, if we never felt what it was like to not have something, if we never felt lost... if we never felt hurt, would be pretty difficult to feel love.

amazing what one snowy evening can evoke.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

our new president

i experienced history last night.

i went to grant park to watch the results of the election come in. i stood among hundreds of thousands of chicagoians and others, to watch these numbers collect and mean something and wait for Obama to speak.

i have never felt so much patriotism in my life.

i have never seen Chicago, as a city, seem so undivided.

i have never been so proud to be an American.

the crowd was big, but it was calm. and for awhile it was like watching TV only with about one million people... and then they announced it, early. Barack Obama would be our new president. and this crowd began to celebrate, and cheer. and cry. and for probably the first time in my life as a chicagoian, i saw this city unite. i looked around me and it wasn't segregated by race, by status, religious affiliation, or by age.

EVERYONE was there.

and i saw promise in that. sure, it's just one night, but i've never seen a presidential candidate who has been able to bring together that kind of a crowd. i can't help but see it as a glimmer of hope for our country's future. it was inspiring.

we watched McCain speak and say his part, for the most part, with respect. he spoke well and spoke positively of the outcome, and i truly believe, ended his part of the race with grace.

and then, there were about four songs. and anticipation. lots of anticipation. everyone is waiting for Obama to take the stage and speak. they played Sweet Home Chicago, and the crowd was dancing, smiling, laughing, crying.

i'll never forget it.

Obama came out and gave a speech that i know will be in my children's history classes. i have never been so moved by so few words. and i have never believed someone with so many big promises. it gave me chills. the crowd was in tears. strangers felt like friends. and there was a strong sense of unity that i will probably never forget in my whole life. i may not remember every word he said, but i'll never forget the feeling of standing amongst all of those people who all have a passion for this country to change and a common goal, and really honestly feeling like we really are all the same. we're people. we're not poor people, rich people, black people, white people. we're people. we're americans. we believe in this man and we believe in our country.

i felt it. i really did.

i'll be the first to say it - we don't know what's going to happen. anything could happen. but i believe in this man and his willingness to do everything in his power to keep his promises. i really do.

and i don't think i've seen as much american pride and unity as i saw last night. not even after 9/11.

yes we can.