Tuesday, November 11, 2008

My Religious Experience

It happened.

It finally fucking happened.

On Oct. 28 I had a religious experience.

I'll be honest, Jesus was nowhere around, not unless he was parading as the woman in the Redskins jacket behind me. But shape changing is something I believe only God does (at least he does in the movies and TV shows like "Saving Grace" and "Joan of Arcadia") -- truth is, any person who claims to be God would a get a polite nod from me as I backed away to a safe, distance.

No, my religious experience was based around another swarthy man who mostly goes by one name -- Obama.

And before you ask, Obama did NOT appear at the foot of my bed in the middle of the night nor did he carry me across a beach leaving only his footprints in the sand.

In fact, Obama did not appear before me at all.

That did not stop me from standing outside.

In the cold.

And rain.

For an hour.

And a half . . .

just to cast my absentee ballot for Barack Hussein (yeah I wrote it) Obama.

Now, I don't pretend to know what it was like to march during the Civil Rights Movement or follow Moses through the desert for 40 years, but goddammit if standing in that shit weather felt like a huge, biblical sacrifice.

And for what? Would Obama really win (remember this was Oct. 28 so I didn't know I would be part of history)? At the time, it was still entirely feasible that Sarah Palin would be the American Vice Pre . . . even now I can't finish typing that sentence, but you get the idea.

That's when I realized that voting is an act of faith. It's casting hope into a void for someone you've never met or will ever see with your own eyes. It's a well wish for someone else to triumph and make YOUR life better.

Standing in that line felt a little like prayer or how I think prayer is supposed to feel.

And yeah, it was kind of nice being huddled there with strangers who couldn't help but smile through the misery. We smiled because we all put our hearts and frozen fingers on a future we could only wish for.

I guess what grandma said is true: Voting works.


Claudia said...

Voting is an act of faith.

To this, I say: Obamalujah! Doesn't it feel great to be a part of history? There were some dark days before the election where I did find myself reaching, hoping for a higher power - something, anything - just to keep Obama and his family safe for the crazies (and the Republicans). And I know there are scary days ahead. It's enough to get me into a pew on a Sunday morning. Maybe.

Frieda said...

I felt the SAME WAY!!!!!

Nov. 4 was an experience like no other. I'd planned to vote early but the massive lines of black folks at the polls kept me from making it during my lunch hour. What a great problem to have!!!!! I remember walking over to City Hall to assess the length of the line and couldn't believe what I was seeing. I felt so incredibly emotional at that moment that I had to turn and walk away before I embarrassed myself. I literally wanted to hug every single black voter in line. I wanted to give them a high five and pump my fist in the air. YES WE CAN. I felt excited, tense, scared...It was incredible. Nov. 4 was my holy-ghost moment (minus the speaking in tongues).

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