Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A classical day

There's a certain type of lofty, ethereal writing that is beyond my grasp on occasions like these. Most days, I'm really not up to the task of finding the deeper meaning or finding some subtle moment that reflects a larger theme. Especially when I still haven't had a chance to digest it all.

However, I will say that I was awestruck by the enormity of the moment. It was extremely humbling to watch the transfer of our government unfold in such a dignified way - the pomp and circumstance, the cheering millions at the Mall, Obama putting his hand on Lincoln's Bible.

And it really didn't hit me until, strangely enough, I heard the first strands of John Williams' "Air and Simple Gifts," which was performed by violinist Itzhak Perlman, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, pianist Gabriela Montero and clarinetist Anthony McGill.

For those of you who read this blog regularly, you know that I'm something of a music lover. I try to write only about what I know and ask about what I don't. So pardon my untrained ear, but to me, that classical music moment at the Capitol was simply beautiful. (This guy from the LA Times didn't feel quite the same.)

From that point forward, I pretty much thawed out. I embraced everything about the day. It also helps to have parents with some perspective.

My father, who learned to send text messages only a few months ago, dropped this one on me this morning: "GM, my wonderful son. This is a very exciting day! Just unreal. Make it a good day." And as I watched the inauguration from an event I was supposed to be covering for my newspaper, my mother tried to call me. I missed the call but got back at her a few minutes later.

"It is done, baby. It is done," she said. I knew she had been crying all morning.

Simple words, complex thoughts. I hope that I've inherited that gift.

In the end, I'm happy for them and all the other elders who never thought they'd live to see it happen. They deserved nothing less than something that beautiful.

Speaking of which ...

UPDATE: SEK with The Edge of the American West offers a suggestion for another inaugural score. Eh. Let's not.

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