Friday, May 1, 2009

Before and After the First 100 Days

The White House, yesterday.

Part of typical Homo sapiens behavior, (because we are social predators), is to follow our Alpha pack leader. And so we do - most of us anyway. We follow or we challenge, just like all social predator species. By following, in this culture at least, what I mean is we dance in shamanic alignment with the way our Alpha thinks. It's so interesting to observe.

That's why I'm glad - and relieved - that Barack Obama is our president. Except for those who challenge him (and challenging is an important part of our pack behavior, so I'm not knocking it!) it seems that as a nation, we have become a lot more analytical since January 20th. We are looking carefully at things like financial institutions, we are beginning to "get" all the reasons why diplomacy is better than military might, we are opening our eyes to very difficult issues such as our recent history of torture. We are turning around on various topics like gay marriage.

Well done, America!

Under Bush, it seemed like we were zoned out, disconnected, oblivious, as if we had collectively choked on a pretzel and passed out on the floor of the Oval Office. Of course there's still plenty of that, of course. But, I overhear so much more thoughtful discourse in restaurants, for instance. I hear reporters asking smarter questions at news conferences, people seem (to my eye at least) more awake.

President Obama is not perfect. I have a few minor quarrels with his policies, but - whoa! - I am so happy to have him as my Alpha. God bless America!

Remember the gnarly tree in Lafayette Square that I photographed in March? This is what it looked like yesterday! Life springs eternal, even from the gnarliest trunk. Yeah!


ellen abbott said...

Maybe the waking up of America is due to the fact that Obama is inclusive while Bush and his bunch were exclusive.

This past election was the first time my kids were really invested and involved in the politics. Good. We need their fresh young blood and views.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful. Love the gnarled trunk with the bright life green. Your words make me smile, I agree wholeheartedly. xoxox

R.L. Bourges said...

interesting observation about the behavior of the pack, Reya. In my political aide incarnation, I recall observing how all of us aligned on the boss one way or another, whether consciously or not: in body language, expressions, priorities - even, in some cases, in voice intonations and gait.

The community is well served by a smart alpha - whether in agreement, disagreement or challenge, because the level of the discourse rises and everyone benefits from it. Like birds rising on an ascending spiral, instead of being flattened to the ground by a muggy, foggy brown-out (which is my mental image of the Bush era).

The triptych you mention in the linked post sounds interesting. Have you posted any visuals of it?

Elizabeth said...

Exactly me feelings, Reya. I was so ashamed to be an American when Bush was around with his anti-intellectualism and thoughtless swagger.
Hate to be political in blogland. -- usually avoid it like the plague -- but the election of Obama has made this cynical old lady feel much more upbeat about this basically WONDERFUL country.
Isn't it super to be able to feel this way again?
Happy weekend to you and Mr.Jake.
ps we look forward to your adventures in the world of dating......

Robbin'sMama said...

Good post. It is good to have confidence in a leader for a change. I love the pictures.

willow said...

Yes, this new administration is a breath of fresh air on so many levels. I'm happy, too.

Stunning pics, Reya. The White House looks so fresh and even hopeful to me. And that gnarly tree! Who knew it could look so lush?

(my word verification is "unity" how cool is that?)

Amy said...

I felt disconnected during the past eight years and ambivalent at times. Certainly not because I didn't care about what was going on, but because I just felt so overwhelmed and helpless to affect change. That's why I became personally involved in the election on a couple of different levels. I wanted change and I was willing to work for it.

I'm so proud of our citizens who are getting involved again and discussing the issues thoughtfully! No, we may not always agree, but if we're open to discuss intelligently and with an open mind, we're getting back on track.

Love the picture of the tree and the White House. Beautiful.

Siobhán said...

Love the Before and After tree and the Before and After thoughts.

Verily I go. said...

I'm very relieved also. Quick intake for air... and for the tree pics too. Awesome. Thanks.

Lover of Life said...

I agree with you on the feeling in America. I felt so helpless under the Bush administration. They did what they wanted to do and really didn't give a damn what we wanted. It is a terrible feeling to feel so marginalized. I think Obama is a good person, with high ideals, which is heartening.

Beautiful tree! I'm really into trees these days.

Ronda Laveen said...

Oh yeah! It settles the pack down when they sense the stability of a leader. I know I feel more secure.

Meri Arnett-Kremian said...

I feel more secure too and blessed to be able once again to listen without cringing to the President speak. And it's good to know that Obama will be appointing the new Supreme Court justice, not Bush (or McCain).

Butternut Squash said...

Now I'm going to have that song "Leader of the Pack" rolling around in my brain.

I'm very pleased with the first 100 days, but I spend enough time around Republicans to know that they're still pretty miffed that their team lost.

California Girl said...

everyone has said what I feel.

every time I listen to Pres. Obama give a speech, like Tuesday night, I pinch myself and think, "Why is he being so straight with us? Ohhh, he thinks we're GROWN UPS!"

Bush, Cheny, Rove, & the rest should be investigated, brought up on charges and prosecuted for everything from war crimes to obstruction of justice and the Freedom of Information Act and the mis-use of power.


janis said...

Oh Reya My Dear!
I stumbled upon your blog back during election time. I fell in love with your way of photography, words & wisdom. You write & photograph so well!
Last night I actually talked about your blog & the friendships I feel I have acquired from blogworld, to my therapist. How fortunante I feel to have been enlighted with many, and surprised at how many people across the world I have come to "meet" that have simular views yet different backgrounds. Would we have met under different circumstances? I value these friendships and opportunity to feel better about myself and the world we live in.
Pres Obama rocks! We sooo needed him! Thank God for our children, he has come along!

Madame Ladybug said...

I like him too! More importantly, I like US better under HIS leadership. (Capital HIS was not meant to convey God or anything like that...)

Lynne said...

What a gorgeous old tree!

I think the Prez is pretty great myself. He's really taking control of this country and a lot of its issues. His job is as gnarly as your tree!

Steve said...

I agree. We're all more engaged and I think we feel like we have a more participatory role in our government.

Is there ALWAYS some kind of demonstration going on behind the White House? LOL

Coccinella said...

Agree wholeheartedly.

The tree, I think an Elm; and your photography, both wonderful.

Spring - hopes eternal!

Reya Mellicker said...

The anti-nuclear demo has been ongoing for about 20 years I think, maybe longer.

And YES there is ALWAYS a demo going on in DC. Always. Every single day.

lakeviewer said...

I don't remember anybody talking about G.Bush's first 100 days. I can't remember anybody talking about what he did to deny people freedom. Were we shocked and awed?

Merle Sneed said...

Questions always seem smarter when we agree with them.

Angie said...

Great post, I agree completely.

Anonymous said...

I think that you have summed up the first 100 days so eloquently.

The choked on a pretzel analogy is so appropros. With W., we found it so hard to take anything seriously because the man was so out-of-touch. I believe that as a whole, we also felt that anything we did would have not impact because no one was listening.

Now, the atmosphere is so different, and I am so glad.