in anticipation of inauguration day
If you haven’t already seen this around the net, The New Yorker has an online feature called A Couple in Chicago with a couple of photos of Obama. Mariana Cook photographed the Obamas in May of 1996 while doing a project on couples in America, and back then, Michelle was a bit leary of a career in politics for Barack:
There is a strong possibility that Barack will pursue a political career, although it’s unclear. There is a little tension with that. I’m very wary of politics. I think he’s too much of a good guy for the kind of brutality, the skepticism.
Speaking of Obama, I attended Grace Cathedral‘s hour-long service/vigil for the president-elect. Hymns were sung, Reverend Calvin Jones read from a 1967 speech Dr. King gave in which he rails against “power without compassion and might without morality,” and Reverend Charles Kullmann led a prayer for the president-elect’s safety, asking God to hold him in the palm of His hand and protect him while he carries out the tasks He has called on him to perform.
That may be aggrandizing a bit, and I’m not a religious person, but parts of the service were very moving. I can only imagine what effect powerful oration, otherworldly choir music and booming organ hymns had on people in a time before electronic amplification, volume knobs and personal portable music systems. Church services must really have sounded like a message from above.
Lastly, if you haven’t yet heard hundreds of people chant Om in a large gothic cathedral (this is San Francisco after all), you should get on it straight quick.