Friday, November 14, 2008
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Barack Ollama, pictured above and to the left, is the clever creation of Sharon, the author of the Blogsite, The Adventures of Needlegrrl. He was neither knit by nor photographed by me, but he was so inspirational to my mood today, that I wanted to share Sharon's vision with you. Barack Ollama was created using the pattern for Felted Alpacas & Llamas (#207x) by Bev Galeskas. The pattern may be purchased at FiberTrends.com. The clever concept is to combine black and white yarn to reflect Obama's mixed cultural heritage...metaphorically uniting black and white society in one political movement.
Today is November 5th...the day after the 44th presidential election. It is historic and my children have been involved in the process - it has been a privilege to teach them about the meaning of democracy at this time in America. Today, however, I am somewhat dismayed about the news coverage of the election of Barack Obama. As I have watched the news this morning, I am struck by the overwhelming number of stories focusing on the admittedly historic fact that Obama will be the first black president of the USA. There are hundreds of stories being generated about what this will do to race relations, how each racial group voted, what Jesse Jackson and Colin Powell think, what this means to black voters and black children, etc. What is bothersome about this is that the polls have overwhelmingly shown that race did NOT play a significant role in this election and that what is really noteworthy is that race was LESS of a factor than people predicted.I would no sooner fill my newsroom with stories of race after this election than I would call my friends who are African-American and congratulate them on "their" victory. The triumph here is that, while black voters did show up in record numbers... white voters propelled Senator Obama to his landslide victory as well. The wonder of this moment is that after all the race struggles in recent modern American history, we have finally as a country acted color-blind. The victory belongs to ALL of us who participated in this great democratic process.
My children, who were raised in New Orleans and sent to a pre-K which was run by an African-American woman and who purposefully kept the racial mix of her school 60% black so as to mirror the racial makeup of our city, were unaware of racial labels through their infancy. They used to say that some children had "darker brown" and "lighter brown" skin...accurately noting that nobody really has "white" skin or "black" skin. We moved from New Orleans to New England where the prevailing liberal social climate manifested as Martin Luther King Day assemblies at their school starting in Kindergarten. They crushed over Beyonce who sang on Sesame Street...and then, like the rest of America's kids, got swept up in the Utopian vision of the saccharine sweet multicultural Disney sensation, "High School Musical"- where Zach Efron (white) and Corbin Bleu (black) are raised together as boys and remain best friends/teammates seemingly unaware of race. Barack Obama's election to their innocent eyes does not look as unusual to them as it does to the news announcers who are making race INTO the news story.
When I voted for Senator Obama, I didn't vote for him because he was black...I chose him because I think he is the most qualified candidate for the office I have known in all my voting years. If he was PURPLE I would have been impressed with his impressive CV including his accomplishments at Harvard Law School, teaching history, and presidency of the Law Review. I am excited to have a Constitutionalist in office. I am pleased to at last have a person whose emphasis on diplomacy reveals a belief that the pen CAN triumph over the sword. I am relieved that as a country we have rewarded one who has worked so hard. Finally, I voted for him because he is PRESENT...he is not distracted - by money, fame, or a crowd of millions of cheering admirers. Recall if you will the steely faces of previous wives cursorily kissed on the acceptance stage...democrats not exempt as I include Hillary in those memories! One need only see this photo of his moment with his wife to see that this is a man who loves his wife and knows how to be present for those things which are important. We deserve a leader with steely dedication to his task and dedication to those people and things he loves...in particular, the ideals of our great country.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
I visited her farm unannounced in August while staying in nearby Damariscotta. While my friend, Elizabeth (a new knitting convert), and I salivated in the yarn stand, our assemblage of 5 boys interacted with the sheep and goats...and enjoyed playing with her son on his swings.
For an interesting read, head to Kelly's blog HERE. It is particularly fun to read about raising Katie...start in the archives around June of 2008. Should you be interested in purchasing any of her special sheep hybrids (Romney (for long fiber length), Correidale, and Babydoll Southdown (for cashmere-like-softness and thickness) or custom blended yarns, it can all be done online at the farm's WEBSITE.