Above my monitor is the August of my calendar, my hero looking cool in designer shades to protect his eyes from the glare of television cameras as he spreads blue paint on a clapboard building in some neighborhood of Washington, DC. Taken the day before his inauguration, this picture speaks to me. It speaks of the construction of hope amid despair. Blue. It speaks to me of blue. It may seem trite to follow such a popular man, but when I try to look elsewhere for a hero, my eyes return to him.
Just seven months into his historic job, the man is beset. Beset by the loonies, the cynical, the violent--all manner of people whom he serves as president. And, yes, he's even the president of his would-be killers. Evidence is mounting that the ranks of that macabre group is swelling like a nodule of Plague. What must it be like, being the genesis and target of such vile hatred? The blue paint speaks to me. It speaks of courage. You can be my hero for having the courage to post your real name on a blog. How much more is this man my hero for putting his hand into a bucket of blue paint and going to work in the dangerous neighborhood called America. It's dangerous for him just to be in that neighborhood, much less to have the audacity to spruce things up.
So my first blog is short. It's just about a little tug at my heart for the beautiful, steady strokes that are making my country a more beautiful place to live. The freshness of that blue paint has perked me up enough to share these feelings. The daily buzz about successes and failures, ups and downs of the Dow, filibuster-proof majorities, screeching animosities played out on TVs and radios--none of these distract me from the symbolic and earthy gesture of a neighborly man setting about the real work of a leader: setting a tone and a lovely vision of what can and needs to be done. I have just one word for my hero--thanks.
Causes Yuma Michaels Supports
NDRC, Southern Poverty Law Center, Greenpeace