Saturday, January 17, 2009

A Wave of Feel Good

Don't you feel it? It's more than a moment. The world knows it. Can't you feel that we're living at a very special time in history? If you don't then you must not be living in the "now". I invite you to come from under your rock, because it is indeed the beginning of a new time, a new era. And regardless of what our personal issues are right now, we must be still and acknowledge that this is an awesome time to be alive. It is the Age of Obama.

Even more than the significance of a Black man coming to power in a country that could easily be conceived as the architect of racism, it feels like a collective confirmation of the humanity of us all. And while there are those who contend that President Obama is "bi-racial" or "mixed"; he is either a Black man by the very definition of those who determined from the beginning of this country what "Black" is, or we are all, every American, "mixed".

Witnessing President Obama's success, his self-possession and sureness, has conveyed a sense of the same in us all. It was there all along, we knew it. And now he is the collective validation of our individual faith. Moreover, the image of his strong black (and some white) family, reminds us of what has been important for us all along. His very public displays of affection for Michelle, Sasha and Malia endears us to him, and places the black family prominently in the forefront.

So in spite of labels, political, racial, or otherwise, and in spite of your fears, BE HERE NOW. This is a time to celebrate humanity, community and family. Use this historical momentum to propel your own goals and dreams. The energy is in the air, harness it in order to inspire your own ideas or motivate others. Let's ride this wave of "feel good" for as long as we can.

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Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Goethe's Couplet Holds True

I begin this year with a reflection on why I began writing this blog. It was, in part, an effort to support and celebrate my decision to leave a job and work harder toward a lifelong dream to continue my education and earn a degree. I wanted to study literature to build a foundation for my own writing. It was also an effort to quell some anxiety I had about doing it. And it was in order to motivate me to write on a more regular basis in addition to the writing I've been doing for school, and staying connected to my own creative foundation. And now as I embark upon the last semester of my undergraduate career, there is a measure of happiness and satisfaction in knowing that there is this record, (public as it may be), of my very personal endeavor.

The economy has thrown a curve ball in my plans, so while I have two classes left to take this semester, a lack of funds (and funding) has made it imperative that I find a job. And though I haven't decided yet if the blog will proceed once I have graduated, I intend to be in graduate school come August. For having taken the GRE a second time, I am one step closer after raising my score by 150 points!

So I begin 2009 with the piece from The Scottish Himalayan Expedition,1951 by William H. Murray, in which he quotes Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe. It is most comforting and encouraging for me, and it is where I got the name for this blog. In the beginning, I wrongly credited Murray for the couplet, but in the piece, he properly credits Von Goethe. Here it is again, and I hope that you too will be as inspired by it as I am.

from The Scottish Himalayan Expedition,1951
By: W.H. Murray

Until one is committed there is hesitancy,
the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness.
Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth,
the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans:
that the moment one definitely commits oneself,then Providence moves too.
All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred.
A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favour
all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance,
which no man could have dreamt would come his way.
I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe's couplets:'
Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.'

[Artwork is "Contemplation" by painter Marcio Melo, a Brazilian artist living in Canada.]

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