Tuesday, November 04, 2008

I Voted.

One blogging topic suggestion I received for this month of blogging was "what it's like to vote in a big city". I actually live just outside of the big city, but I have to say the line for me to vote this morning was longer than any I've stood in in the past (including 2004 in San Francisco).

(Apologies for the sideways photo. I have saved and re-saved the rotated version of this
photo a million times in the past 10 minutes and cannot get it to upload right-side-up.)

Two of my roommates and I drove to the polling place and arrived at 7:07. The photo above was taken after we had been standing in line (and moving) for about 15 minutes. The line behind us was equally long. In all, it took us one full hour to get to the polling place, stand in line, vote, and get home. It felt like a long time, but I kind of liked it. I liked that I had to put in a little extra time to cast such an important vote. It made my vote feel that much more significant.

My friend Kelly posted a beautiful piece last night that I read just before going to sleep. I'm pretty sure it caused me to have my first ever voting dream last night. And because I'm no good at keeping beautiful pieces of writing to myself, I'm sharing it with you:

You Saw History - a note to my son

You are so lucky to have been born in this time, in this country, in more ways than I can count. You saw history before your eyes saw its first image. Someday you’ll remember how you saw history. Here’s how I remember it.

You heard the first viable female candidate speak up for labor rights while you were still growing.
You heard your mother’s footsteps as she ran down a Cleveland hotel lobby to rangle the press for Senator Clinton.
You heard your mother make phone call after phone call to get out the vote.
You waited patiently when your mother was out New Year’s Day in the snow collecting signatures for candidacy petitions.
You saw the hustle and bustle of a campaign office run by people younger than most – voting for the first time.
You saw your mother rush to nurse you, then back to talk to Secret Service.
You sat on your mother’s lap when she voted for Senator Clinton and herself on the same ballot.
You watched the event on television, knowing your mother plugged those wires for the cameras to bring you that image.
You waited patiently while your mother ran as a delegate.
You heard your mother cry with joy when Senator Clinton took the stage to claim victory in Ohio.
You heard your mother cry when Senator Clinton ceded defeat, but then with joy when you knew promise stood in the name Barack Obama.
You played patiently in your stroller while at a table organizing with other activists.
You were curious at the picinics when the candidates wanted pictures with you.
You sat on your mother's lap while she watched the first African-American accept the Democratic Presidential nomination.
You sat at your mother’s feet while she organized yard signs, volunteers, canvassers for Obama.
You saw your mother write letter after letter to other mothers about why Democrats are good for their children.
You sat on your mother’s lap when she voted for Obama, Biden, and our other Democratic brothers and sisters.
You slept peacefully while your mother lead the local Democratic club.
You loved your first debate watching party, seeing on the big screen the tussle that ensued between two foes.
You listened intently every time your mother tried to persuade another voter.
You were inspired by speaker after speaker at a rally just 2 days before the age of reason.
You heard the sentiment that if I can’t, maybe if I work hard enough my child can.
You saw old, young, white, black, blue collar, white collar, women, men, children, disabled, non-disabled, rich, poor, educated, uneducated stand shoulder to shoulder nodding in agreement that this is truly a revolution, and we need to take part!

I didn’t knock on those doors for me – I did it for you. I did it so you wouldn’t lose the innocence you have now looking to the Statehouse steps later. I did it so you will have a safe place to live, a country you’d be proud of. I took every step on every sidewalk towards a better life for you – better health care, better education, to secure your civil rights, your financial and economic freedoms. For every door that was slammed, two more opened with a smile. For every voter who was disillusioned, I tried twice as hard to bring the next one around. I voted because my great-grandmother couldn’t.

I voted because I believe in the history you have seen.

1 comment:

Suzanne said...

glad you shared this. tears in my eyes and admiration for author.