It's taken me a little while to digest the fact that we have a whole new type of president taking power on the 20th of January. He is tall, impeccably poised, somewhat like a Rilkean angel, towering over the desperation of the Country with an original and overpowering presence. His illumination seems to be within reach, something we have all experienced and held on to from time to time. Hope.
I don't remember the last time a leader gave me hope.
He suggests that we are one, something he said to me with deep emotional intimacy the first time I met him. It's an enduring mission of the new president- elect, to create unity rather than separation. Perhaps this is because as a non-white, Obama has known with painful clarity what separation feels like. To be honest, I was a little taken aback with his comment about unity. Being of Indian origin, I find western world is riddled with temporary imprints of belonging and that is true even in my own life. I sometimes belong to my Indian people but when I go to India I can no longer relate and I am suddenly American. There is never a moment where I can say I truly belong to everything and yet that is what oneness suggests, that we always belong to everything. Bound by some invisible thread.
The idea of oneness is really hard to understand and incorporate because we as an American public are prone to rational intellectualization of any simple idea. Basic concepts like hope and unity seem sexy and even seductive but we are magnetized to dissect these concepts. We all have heard the terms and think we know them but in actuality our daily conversations are charged with a disbelief of their existence.
The fascinating thing is that Obama doesn't just preach unity, he seems to live it. He named Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State. A woman who was his rival several months prior. From what I remember words were said and epithets were exchanged. It's nice to see an idealist outlook unblemished by a cannibalistic system of government or the basic ego.
Obama's calm demeanor seems to run past rumors and lies that power games often presuppose. He has a sense of ease that seems to be unaffected by the politics of governing. Being cool and calm is sexy. I am sure we can all remember a time in our youth when the coolest kids in school were the kids who were calm, almost indifferent to the chaos of life.
I hope and pray that the ease and calmness that Obama so effortlessly carries will bring about a new sense of political rationality to our Nation and foreign policy.
Beyond his political persona, the sexiest thing that Obama has brought to the White House is his family. His wife, Michelle and their two children make visible a social institution that has changed dramatically in American culture. The Nuclear family. Even with all the changes it still seems to be every little girl's dream and every little boy's hope.
Obama's family speaks to those of us who want to have faith in a failing system of marriage. In its current malaise, American culture wants to question the institution but only after it's played in the dollhouse, dreaming with the white picket fence and dog.
Looking at their beautiful family, one can't help it. It's a great picture. A nice dream. It is so great even homosexuals want the dream captured in their home. They want the privilege of building a family. Something that looks perfectly like the dream we've built a whole society on. It's not a new idea. In fact evidence of the nuclear family dates to Neolithic culture, some 4,600 years ago.
Obama has just reinvigorated all things we knew were good for our spirit but somehow couldn't manage. He shows us that not only can you fight odds and make it, despite heritage, race, affiliations and rumors but you can do it all with such panache that others don't know how to compete.
Yes. Obama has brought sexy back to the White House.