Inauguration Day 2009

On this Inauguration Day, 2009, John Lewis, the respected Civil Rights veteran and long-serving congressman from Georgia, summed up the feelings that have been overwhelming me ever since the Iowa caucus suggested that a bi-racial man – a black man – a literal African American man named Barack Obama just might have a chance to win the Presidency of the United States. Lewis said, “It is almost too much to take in.” Amen, brother. In spite of my long, checkered lifetime on “roads less traveled,” certainly by my birth family, — roads that should have allowed me to speak out and take at least a measure of ownership, of gut-clenching fear, and overwhelming joy at this remarkable accomplishment, I find myself stifled, almost choking, by emotion that has no outlet. For I am a stranger in a strange land. I have no one to share this emotion with, except the folks on television. It is almost too much to take in. I am a stranger in a strange land. A white woman by birth, accidentally exiled in redneck, provincial, Republican Idaho that often seems stuck somewhere in the 1950s. But I am also a black woman by schizophrenic choice, accidentally exiled in that same redneck, provincial, Republican Idaho – a world where only a few people in my circle would have a basis for understanding these feelings, or my...

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