prayer and quiet waiting DNC 2016: part two
My closing thoughts about tonight's DNC 2016 are shaped by an unexpected turn of events. We were able to share dinner with our daughter and son-in-law as well his parents who just arrived in from NYC this evening. It was a grand time of excellent fresh, local food and wonderful stories. Then, before W's blueberry pie and homemade ice cream, we retired to watch the close of the DNC. It was too late for Dolores Huerta and the Rev. Barber, but we caught the generals - an excellent and sober theatrical touch - emphasizing the irrationality of Mrs. Clinton's opponent. And also Chelsea Clinton's introduction and homage to her mother. Then it was time for Hilary's acceptance speech and three truths hit me hard:
+First, I was watching this historic event in the presence of three strong, independent and creative women: a mother, a step-mother and my daughter. Each of these women have weathered discrimination and oppression unique to their generation and each have found ways to both address it and challenge it with grace and courage. There could not be a better spot in the world to be taking in this monumental moment.
+ Second, during a speech laying out a vision of inclusivity and diversity, it hit me that we were: urban, rural and small city together, male and female, young and more mature, too. Further we were Christian, Jew and nones listening to a speech by America's first woman as she accepted her party's nomination to be president. There was a humility about her call to nourish trust in community and that resonated in a room where some of our ancestors had immigrated from Russia during the pogroms of the late 1880s, others had been Scots Irish farmers, English sheep herders or the children of French Huguenots.
+ And third, what a wonderful contrast of visions the DNC presented in clear opposition to nightmares of the RNC. Say what you will about some of the failings of the Democrats, they pointed towards hope and humor, compassion and credibility to say nothing of the importance of taking the next step in perfecting our ever-changing union. By contrast, the Republics were crude, rude, vulgar and mean-spirited. Further, they bowed down to a bully with a limited attention span and no business ethics. For me, the best moment of Mrs. Clinton's speech came when she said something about "people often accuse me of paying too much attention to the details... but these details matter when they involve the life of someone you love!" Brilliant, bold and tender all at the same time. And as I sat in the room with three generations of strong, creative and brilliant women and heard her accept the nomination to be president, my eyes were full to overflowing.
There is a lot of work to be done over the next 100 days and the polling between these parties shows a tight race. I am grateful that this convention articulated a choice that Michelle Obama summarized as: when they go low, we go high! All of this is additionally poignant to me for over the next two weeks our home will be filled with a family reunion of sorts: the Brooklyn family is moving today from their home of 7 years and will be staying with us on and off until the new condo is ready. My dear brother and sister in law from San Francisco will be coming into town next Sunday, too in anticipation of the remaining Lumsden Clan gathering in Webster, MA to lay the cremains of our parents and sister Beth to their final resting place. In between, there will be feasting and story-telling - and maybe a shared trip to the lawn at Tanglewood. We've been moving furniture, cleaning floors and getting things ready for a few weeks of loving reconnection. To those of you who check in here from time to time: I'll be writing a bit over the next few weeks but it will be intermittent. Blessings.