Looking back and thinking forward

Month: October, 2008

America, we cannot turn back

Quote of the day

"For as long as I live, I will never forget that in no other country on earth is my story even possible."
Perhaps the words echo because I am a naturalized American, and I came here, like many others, seeking relief from Britain's subtle barriers of religion and class, and possibility broader than in Europe's confines.
Perhaps they resonate because, having South African parents, I spent part of my childhood in the land of apartheid, and so absorbed as an infant the humiliation of racial segregation, the fear and anger that are the harvest of hurt – just as they are in Obama's words, "the brutal legacy of slavery and Jim Crow." Roger Cohen in the New York Times

On Tuesday, November 4, 2008, I will vote for Barack Obama as a naturalized American who was born white in Africa, Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe. Although I am not considered an African American in the truly and deeply cultural meaning of that expression, I have always identified with the cause of freedom and social justice for all. And, like Roger Cohen, I spent my childhood absorbing the humiliation of racial segregation and the fear and anger that are the harvest of hurt

And so, on Tuesday, November 4, 2008, I will vote for Barack Obama for many reasons, among which, one is that, among the many pieces that make up who I am – I am also an "African" American.

A year ago at Mining Nuggets: Happy Halloween

Go vote!

Quote of the day

We want a President who wants to understand and who can understand. Bill Clinton


Our voting information arrived yesterday, so today, I prepared a little tribute to November 4 … 


Now … go vote!


Shedding the shame for good

Quotes of the day:

I am afraid to lose persons I love or to see them suffer; I fear the deterioration of old age; I fear the world's increasing poverty, violence, and the world's corruption. In these years without you I have learned to manage sadness, making it my ally. Little by little your absence and other losses in my life are turning into sweet nostalgia. That is what I am attempting in my stumbling spiritual practice: to rid myself of the negative feelings that prevent walking with assurance. I want to transform rage into creative energy and guilt into a mocking acceptance of my faults; I want to sweep away arrogance and vanity. I have no illusions, I will never achieve absolute detachment, authentic compassion, or the state of ecstasy known to the enlightened; it seems I do not have the bones of a saint, but I can aspire to crumbs: fewer bonds, a bit of affection for others, the joy of a clean conscience. (Page 96)

it isn't the truth exposed that makes us vulnerable, it's what we try to keep secret. (Page 134)

We're bound together, we don't want to be separated, but that doesn't mean we don't have the occasional fight. I never lay down my sword. Just in case. (Page 147)

The Sum of Our Days, Isabel Allende

I have been traveling a lot these past several days. Up to State College and down to Atlantic City. And I will be setting out again on election day (after I vote for Obama, of course!) for, of all places, Dallas, Texas to watch the votes come in. I have been on buses and trains, and will be on a couple of planes. Setting out, I have my presentation tucked away in the bag, a couple of dolls who always keep me company, just in case I want to demonstrate how you hold a child in your arms, but also just to keep me company, and a good book. Isabel Allende's memoir also accompanied me as I traveled through Pennsylvania and New Jersey. I became enveloped by stories of her "tribe," and was filled with my own deep reflection, and "sweet nostalgia."

It has been good to turn my sights inward once again. My brain, body and soul have been so intensely focused on the political fervor and importance of this election, that I have forgotten who I am traveling with … my self. I noticed that these past four months I have shed close to 30 pounds in body weight. It is hard work, exercising diligently, and watching those portions, all the while sticking to Phase II of the South Beach Diet, but in reality it is just all about giving up on all that addictive sweet stuff I used to cling to when guilt and shame overwhelmed my soul. For shame and guilt is what it is all about for me. Deep – very deep – within. 

These past four years, after I left Bob-the-therapist and relocated to Philadelphia, I faced down my most painful inner demons, locked heads and confronted them relentlessly until exhausted, and emotionally spent, I allowed them to roll away into the shadows. And there they remain, raising their heads for a quiet roar now and again. Only, now, they make me giggle. For, I see them as helpful signs warning me that I might slip back into those old holes along whose old worn-out roads I used to travel. Yes indeed, they have become scars that now only waken faint twinges of pain in the rain. And as they roll away, so do the pounds it seems. 

I noticed that these past four months I have been taking care of myself. Eating healthy foods, walking out in the fresh air, doing daily yoga and breathing exercises, and keeping a balance between work and alone time. I have even allowed myself to purchase a few new clothes or "things" I like. 

I wonder, am I actually shedding the shame for good?

About a year ago at Mining Nuggets: Heroes

“Vote with your heart and mind, courage and vision”

I first saw a snippet on MSNBC and then found this video in its entirety at Frank Paynter:


See more Ron Howard videos at Funny or Die

I dedicate this post …

… to all my friends and family in Israel and around the world (Thanks, Ilene):

Breaking News

Quote of the Day:

“He has both style and substance,” Mr. Powell said, speaking on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” He added, “Obama has displayed a steadiness; showed intellectual vigor. He has a definitive way of doing business that will do us well.” New York Times

Colin Powell endorses Barack Obama

100,000 in St. Louis


And watch this! I found it at Frank Paynter:


Two words

Do you feel the tingle?

Quote of the day:

No one can really quite believe it.

It is the thing That Can Barely Be Named, the Great Unspoken, the impossible truth that feels too good to be true and hence few dare actually mention it aloud lest it somehow vanish and time reverses itself and the devil snorts and chuckles and reveals his grand, horrible joke, and suddenly it's 2001 all over again. Please, no screaming.

Can you sense it? Do you feel the deep tingle? Because amid the fiscal meltdown and Obama's stunning poll numbers and the stress of the election, this staggering fact: George W. Bush is nearly done. He will soon be gone forever, America's most spectacularly incompetent footnote, the oily residue left on the pavement after his administration's giant Hummer of ineptitude is finally hauled to the crusher.

 It is, to put it mildly, a bizarre feeling. Surreal. Disorienting. After all, the nightmare has lasted so long. This wound has been raw and open for years.

No matter. It is easy to lose sight of the bigger picture. It is easy to overlook the grand prize, the greatest gift this decade has yet to offer. Yes, it's Obama, but also the flipside: an America without Bush anywhere near the steering wheel. Hallelujah indeed. By Mark Morford, SF Gate Columnist

[Thanks to Milya]

The humorous side …

… of Barack Steve Obama … and, in my view, the beauty of democracy …

… and … of John McCain …