Since I'm not going to be able to watch the inauguration live, I made a point of catching the inaugural concert this afternoon, and what a thrilling experience it was.
There were three pictures that will be seared into my brain when I think of the day. The first is the photo at the left. It's an obvious image that I know the organizers had in mind. But the sight of our first African American president standing in front of the Great Emancipator was just thrilling.
I also thought about Lincoln, the man, and wondering what he would think if he could hear himself talked about by many as the greatest president; if he could see the esteem and reverence with which he is held today. I suspect he'd be flabbergasted.
The other two mental memories are less obvious. One was the sight of--I think it was Sasha--who had a camera and was taking pictures of some of the stars performing. My first thought when the Obamas came out onto the stage and sat down in the family section was that nobody had a camera. The first thing I would have grabbed was a camera. Then I laughed as I realized that they aren't going to need cameras ever, ever again--their every move is going to be recorded for history. But it was cute to watch Sasha taking pictures.
The third mental image is the sight of that little girl in pink, sitting behind the Obamas and Bidens. She slept through the whole program and was just so cute. I'm wondering how she's going to feel when she grows up and looks back on all these historical photos and sees herself zonked out behind the president!
But other than those images there was the sight of the mall, filled to overflowing with people, and the cream of the crop of entertainers on the stage. Some strange choices for people to participate, but each did a great job and the choruses were wonderful.
I did feel sorry for the poor guy who sang the National Anthem, who either didn't come in on time so didn't sing the first line, or whose mic didn't pick him up until the second line. And then there was the odd pause at the end when he wasn't quite sure when to come in...but finally hit it just right. But I'll bet he had some sweats over that song.
I was also very disappointed that HBO, for some reason, didn't broadcast the invocation by Bishop Robinson. Apparently their broadcast started after he gave that. Since that was one of the reasons I wanted to watch the concert, it was a big disappointment--and no news seems to have picked it up. You can read the text of the invocation here but in searching for it, I read a report that not only did HBO not pick it up, no news service has photos of him and the people close to the stage who were there to hear him couldn't because his mic was not turned on. He also gave the invocation before the Obamas and Bidens made their entrance, so he wasn't really a part of it all. (You can bet that Rick Warren will get much better treatment on Tuesday). I guess we are all one, except for the gay bishop.
I also suspect there was something that went wrong with the eagles. If there was nothing that went wrong, their presence seemed a bit dumb. I thought the first guy looked nervous, like his bird wasn't behaving properly, and then they introduced that bird's "friend" who also flapped his wings ineffectually. I thought they were going to send the thing soaring out over the crowd, which would have been cool. Otherwise, I'm not sure why the birds were there.
But it was a wonderful celebration anyway, offering promise of the inauguration festivities to come.
The only downer is that as I started to write this, my computer died. Or rather, I killed it trying to do something that has not been working for me lately. Now I can get the computer to start, with much cajoling, but it never starts Windows. It just shows me my desktop wallpaper and nothing else.
So I've spent a long time setting up the laptop to be used until I can get around to contacting my guru to see what he can do. I can't even have him here until after my surgery when I can actually see what he's trying to show me.If it's not one thing, it's another! (I hope this is not an inauspicious sign for my surgery! I tend to think about stuff like that.)