Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Making Progress Making Things

Things won are done;
joy's soul lies in the doing.
--William Shakespeare

So how are we all this week, after having clung for dear life to nonexistent safety bars and taken a seemingly never-ending ride on the E-ticket Presidential Rollercoaster in the extravagantly overwrought amusement park that is American Politics? (Baby-boomer Brownie points to those who know what E-ticket means; more kudos still to those who also use the term brownie points--ha!)

I imagine that my own emotions today--a mere week since I sat in the local Obama office, biting my nails and making last-minute reminder calls--are not all that different from those of anyone else who worried, watched, and wept last Tuesday.



A tiny bit of disbelief, given all that we've witnessed in elections past (especially in Florida).

Intense pride, given all the racist blather I'd seen, heard, and read these past two years, that America had elected a brilliant man to its highest office, based on the content of his character instead of the color of his skin.

A need to e-mail or call every single person to whom I've ranted about W et. al. over the past eight years and say something articulate and deeply intellectual like Woo-hoo! AIEEEE! Can you believe it? Oh my God, can you believe it? YEAH! YES WE CAN!

And this: a profound sense of disconnectedness mixed with the certainty that I must now get down to the business of creating things. While reflecting on my obsessive politics-following habits, I realized how little else I've written about, how little else I've created. There is a rack of vintage dresses that need altering or re-working, but for years I've been less than inspired, shall we say. There is an entire novel outline sitting on my hard-drive; there are several new-but-unopened recipe books piled up in the kitchen; there are literally hundreds of note-cards--each of which is inscribed with an idea (and sometimes several ideas) for poems, stories, and designs--lying in and around my desk.

Good grief, I must get busy. Where the hell have I been? Okay, other than the laundry room, I mean. And the car. And the pediatrician's office. And the grocery store. And, of course, the computer and the MSNBC.

President-elect Obama says we must once again become a nation that makes things. And since I'm not an engineer, an architect, or an automobile designer, I'm going to interpret the word "make" as create, and the word "things" as meaning not only energy efficient cars and buildings, but also literature, art, and music.

So, then, inspiration trumps relief, burnout, exhaustion, disbelief, and even euphoria (hey, we all know euphoria is a temporary gig, right? How much could we ever get done if we humans were euphoric all day, every day? Think of all the dancing shoes we'd be wearing out, one pair after another...). I am inspired to get my metaphorical ass in gear. I will finally learn Dreamweaver; I will at last learn to use my new camera; I will begin to tackle some of my vintage projects (maybe I'll photograph them!) and most of all, I will write.

Anyway, before I frighten myself with all these plans, I'd like to share a couple of favorite election night images you may have missed. Ezra posted the first one just as the election was called for Barack Obama; the second comes from a terribly cute website, Cats for Obama (H/T Lisa at Cogitamus).

So, how about you? Now that you can breathe (somewhat) more easily, secure in the knowledge that a smart, competent grownup will soon be running things, what sort of creative work will you dive into with wild (or even mild) abandon?

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