Friday, January 23, 2009

Aftermath



The energy of the inauguration is beginning to settle down. Most of the visitors have left town, the national mall is mostly cleaned up, though severely trampled, as I'm sure you can imagine. A few stragglers will stay through the weekend, but after that DC should be quiet until Cherry Blossom time.

My prediction of a city-wide hangover in the inaugural aftermath was completely wrong. Though everyone I know - here and elsewhere - felt wiped out by all the energy surrounding and infusing our national rite of passage, no one reported experiencing the heavy thud of remorse that's a part of metabolizing too much alcohol. We're tired, yes, but hungover? Uh-uh.

Now that the regime of Bush/Cheney is over, people are once again speaking freely. The things that are being revealed are truly shocking. On February 3rd, PBS will air its series Spy Factory about how the National Security Agency spied on all of us Americans, really all of us, ever since 9/11.

It has not been a good time in America. While the rest of us are waking up to that truth, our new president is allowing photographers to capture images of him sitting in the Oval Office, graceful (like Cary Grant), grounded, and OTJ. We have a president! A real president who believes we're capable of cleaning up the mess. If he believes it, maybe I can believe it. Thank God.

21 comments:

Kim said...

Reya thank you for your message of inspiration. This morning I needed that uplifting message of hope. Please keep doing what you are doing. Your beacon of light reflecting the way to change is motivating me to take my life back and it feels right.

Liz said...

I love the good faith efforts that Obama has demonstrated so far. Like freezing salaries of senior staffers. Like signing orders to get rid of Gitmo. Like taking action and continuing to be real.

For the first time in a decade, I am once again really intrigued by politics and the Presidency. I find myself wanting to follow every detail. I would be one of those photographers capturing every minor detail- like his pen.

I've really enjoyed reading your blog as the Inauguration approached. Great to have insight from the inside!

Reya Mellicker said...

Kim you are welcome! I'm feeling like taking my own life back, too. Feels so good.

Auntie, aka cagny said...

Hi there,
Love the photo.
Your dog's butt is too cute!

The Family Julz said...

Amen to the last sentence Reya! How true! What an amazing time to be alive. And as always, your shadow composition is so thoughtful and elegant; I love your pictures!

willow said...

Yes, he did look very elegant and relaxed in the Oval Office, didn't he? His desk looked quiet bare, though. He certainly hasn't had any time to put out any incidentals.

tut-tut said...

It IS a new day; I'm so glad you are feeling the gauze lifting.

It's shocking how much of our information has been taken from us. L has a school friend who spends every summer in Cairo, and I'm sure there is quite a dosier on their e-mails. Can you imagine all the time, energy, and tax money going into spying on two teenagers' mindless e-mail conversations?

Butternut Squash said...

Keep that optimism flowing! I need and endless supply of it to keep my batteries charged. Out here in evangelical world, it can get a little depressing. Conspiracy lurks around every corner. I would tell you about it, but someone might be listening.

Cloth, Yarn and Life said...

Hi Reya,
Well put. I am so looking forward to the years ahead with President Obama. If you want to check it out, I have written a poem about the inauguration on my blog. Love to have your input.
http://marylourupp.blogspot.com/

MaryLou

Reya Mellicker said...

Cagny - yes, Jake's butt is darling.

And yes Butternut and YES tut, spying on people everywhere. As an example, the guy interviewed on Keith Olbermann said they were listening to people "in Kansas who had no connections with anyone outside of the U.S." Pathetic.

Reya Mellicker said...

Part of my personal aftermath has been a thorough survey of every version of A Change is Coming, that Sam Cooke song that was the theme song of the inauguration weekend.

No offense to Sam Cooke, but others have covered that song so well! Needless to say I believe the Otis Redding version is great, but for my money, the Aaron Neville cover is the very best. Makes me cry every time I listen.

lacochran said...

The Obamas really are elegant people, aren't they? (In addition to all their other gifts.) Not something I look for or expect in a president but it's a nice bonus.

deborah said...

PERFECTLY reported
PERFECTLY photographed

I believe

I love you

janis said...

Reya~ Thank you so much for all your incredible photos, your story behind the sences and allowing us to catch a glimpse of this excitement through you.
You are an exceptional Journalist, & I am honored to have been able to find & follow you.
I have shared much of your work with my soon to be Jouralism major, daughter, Annie, that will head off to college later this year. Annie is as inspired as I of your work. Particularly your magical photos.
I am not sure how I stumpled onto you but sure am glad I found you. Please keep up this wonderful blog and also thanks for visiting mine!

Reason said...

I love to read your blogs even more now since you're right there in the middle of it all. It must have been amazing there...Words cannot describe how I feel about our new President. Sometimes it's still so surreal. Seeing him signing orders yesterday made it clear that he is standing behind what he says. He is off to a great start... Thanks for your posts from Washington!

Reya Mellicker said...

Janis, wow! Thank you so much. I am flattered. Thanks.

Reason - i love saying "President Obama." I say it over and over again. It's going to take me awhile to really take it in, that this has happened. Wow.

Ronda Laveen said...

In the photo, it looks like u r the tree...kind of like one of the Tree Ents in the Lord of the Rings...traveling with your faithful companion, Jake.

SafariB said...

The difference is that Obama has dignity, humility and respect. Something that Bush lacked completely.

Thank you again Reya for your wonderful blog.

Bee said...

I liked your phrase "the heavy thud of remorse." This wasn't just mass hysteria or a collective emotional dump . . . it was a true, deep longing for change. (I know some people who don't see it that way; I try to understand, but I'm just bemused . . . no, more disbelieving than that.)

Yes, the spying thing is pretty scary. Lots of civil rights have been eroded in the last 8 years, and not just in Guantanamo.

Reya Mellicker said...

Ronda - very cool observation. I was "hiding" in the shadow of the trunk. That's my elbow sticking out on one side, my coat on the other side.

Safari B? Thank you!

Ronda Laveen said...

I know that you believe you were "hiding" in the shadow of the trunk of the tree, but in quietly viewing your other photos of tree shadows, i observe that you HAVE BECOME the trees. Please review?