Tonight the President spoke to Congress. He spoke to the House and the Senate, the members of the Supreme Court and his cabinet, to honored guests and the First Lady. And he spoke to me.
He reassured me with his knowledge, he inspired me with his optimism, he comforted me with his wisdom, and he made America seem a little less scary today.
I've never seen a leader like this in my lifetime. Not even close.
He didn't say it would be easy. He didn't even say it would be quick. But I heard him say it is possible. And I believed him.
"The weight of this crisis will not determine the destiny of this nation. The answers to our problems don't lie beyond our reach. They exist in our laboratories and universities, in our fields and our factories, in the imaginations of our entrepreneurs and the pride of the hardest-working people on Earth. Those qualities that have made America the greatest force of progress and prosperity in human history we still possess in ample measure. What is required now is for this country to pull together, confront boldly the challenges we face, and take responsibility for our future once more."
"Those of us gathered here tonight have been called to govern in extraordinary times. It is a tremendous burden, but also a great privilege — one that has been entrusted to few generations of Americans. For in our hands lies the ability to shape our world for good or for ill.
"I know that it is easy to lose sight of this truth — to become cynical and doubtful, consumed with the petty and the trivial. But in my life, I have also learned that hope is found in unlikely places, that inspiration often comes not from those with the most power or celebrity, but from the dreams and aspirations of Americans who are anything but ordinary."
And with a leader who is nothing short of extraordinary. Like he said. He gets it.
Oh, and it was great seeing Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg there too!
My friend, Maren, hosted a sled dog and skijoring race on Saturday in Park City called the iDIDaRACE. I got to watch. And I fell in love with the dogs and their complete joy of purpose. Their excited calls would echo over the hills when they knew their time to start racing was getting closer. They could hardly contain their excitement and would raise their voices together to announce their readiness to race.
These dogs obviously love their jobs, even the lone sheep dog entry who performed her job perfectly by running behind and herding her owner through the whole race.
Here is Maren praising one of the dogs for a good race.
Yesterday I got to see the movie Milk about the first openly gay elected official who was a supervisor in San Francisco. This film rattled my soul a bit and watching it in Utah after the recent fight about Proposition 8 made it even more poignant. Today I got this link from a beautiful friend of mine who married her long time partner last year in a joyful and loving ceremony. This video made me cry and wonder why we are still even fighting about this basic human rights issue.
I probably should be told to step away from the computer when it's after 2 a.m. and I just found out that a friend of mine is dying. This post might deserve a warning stronger than the swear-word warning--so stop reading now if you are not up for tragic and morose.
My friend has been told she has advanced, inoperable liver cancer and will probably only live another three months at the most.
I found out on Facebook.
Finding out that someone you know is dying on Facebook is like someone breaking up with you on a post-it note, only a lot less funny.
It's like Facebook has somehow become the universal PA system. "Attention everyone in the world remotely connected with (insert person's name here.) We have some bad news for you and we'd like you to read it right along with everybody's minute-to-minute updates about the weather, anecdotes about how tired their kids make them, and the quiz that tells what character they are most like from The Office."
Since there is no remotely good way to hear about something like this, it might as well be on Facebook. It's easier really. When you hear about it you don't have to see anyone except your own reflection in the computer screen. It takes a few hours for this kind of news to sink in and seem real anyway.
Honestly, I'm not sure I would have heard about this as soon as I did were it not for Facebook. I haven't seen her in a while. And I wish I could have just stayed oblivious to this news forever. But now at least I will get to go visit her, and laugh about old times, and try to make up for letting so much time go by without seeing her.
Hopefully soon my head will be clearer, and I will be able to write down some of the great memories I have of this friend. She is one of the most vivacious, energetic, sparkly, and intensely good people I have ever met. Her happy and joyful spirit rubs off on everyone she is around. Her impact on this world has already been spectacular. And that part I didn't have to find out on Facebook.
This post comes with a little warning for all of you sensitive types. If you don’t watch rated R movies because of the “naughty parts” or if you have used “oh my heck” in a just-so-darned-charming way within the last week, stop reading right now. . . . . . . I see you are still with me so I will have to apologize for unfairly loading the expectation wagon. There is really nothing all that titillating or exciting coming, but I have to include the warning simply because it turns out I’m not exactly a good gauge of what will offend some people.
I got chastised today for cursing. I think I said something like "I'm not sure what the hell to think of that." And one of the guys in the room said, "we may be able to enjoy this conversation as soon as you stop cursing."
Honestly I didn't realize that saying "hell" was cursing. Not even in Utah. So, when I asked innocently, "Oh, sorry, did I curse?" the reply I got was "well yeah, you said heck."
I said, "I'm pretty sure I would never say heck." But what I wanted to say was, "there is no damn fucking way in hell I would ever say heck." Which would have sent half the people in the room into full-on cardiac arrest, but would have been extremely cathartic and exhilarating for me.
Oh, and about those "naughty parts." Isn't everyone really just waiting through the other parts so they can get to the naughty parts? Don't pretend that's not true or I might be forced to say hell again.