How delightful that music underscored today's inauguration of Barack Obama! How reassuring to have heard a new poem of optimism and love, a clear celebration of daily life and of the word! 

How marvelous to witness the delivery of the simple and complex and glorious speech of our new president, an orator and poet! How marvelous to have received prayer and blessing from such disparate points of view, both seeking grace!

How marvelous to witness the delivery of the simple and complex and glorious speech of our new president, an orator and poet! How totally marvelous and reassuring to expect we have a leader who strives for peace and equality and for art and learning!

–Elizabeth Hemmerdinger

Listening to the Inaugural Address today, I could not think of one person who would have cherished the moment more than Natalie McIntyre, my mother, whose life was just eight months too short to witness this day.

She spent much of her life in a commitment to equality, to community service, and to the belief that God created all people alike and that no man or woman was ever any more of less than another.

Natalie was active in the civil rights movement. She believed that people were different because of the circumstances of their births and the aspects of their life journeys which set them apart. She never found any differences between people that  could not be bridged by love and mutual understanding.

To see a young man, a black man, a spiritual man, a man of peace and not war,a man of inclusion and not separation becoming the President would have been one of the finest hours of her life. For that reason, I remembered her today and was heartbroken that she could not be with us.

— Doug McIntyre

I am cautiously optimistic about the new administration. I just watched the inauguration and liked what I saw of Obama. I liked his speech. (Especially, I must admit, the implication that he's planning to spend money on health care and science). I liked the way he showed some emotion when taking the oath–as though he couldn't believe that he was really doing it, had really gotten to this place. But I want to see what he does before making any deep judgments on President Obama. He's talked a good game, now what is he going to do?

I did also find the speech interesting for what he did not say. In talking about the history of the country, for example, he talked about the Civil War and segregation as major challenges the country had faced and survived. He did not mention slavery. He also made references to how "our ancestors packed up and came here." His ancestors did that. Mine did too (for the most part), but that's not how Michelle Obama's ancestors got here. Reference to slavery and how the majority of African-Americans became Americans was conspicuously absent. Why? Too much of a downer? Too divisive?

— Dianne Pulte, M.D.

Watching the luncheon today, we've just heard Barack Obama say:"What has happened today is not about me. It's about the American people." He is calling on the public servants in front of him to behave in the best possible way to honor the trust placed in them.

This is an inauguration of humility and a putting aside of hubris. We can only begin to imagine what this paradigm shift will mean to the national consciousness.  We may miraculously move from the me-ism of recent
times to a we-ism of a renewed dedication to true democracy. Let us hope
that all the prayers being uttered today carry this impossible dream with
them.

— Laura Sillerman


We're in a rented house in Inverness, one somehow grandfathered in
when the whole peninsula became Point Reyes National Park. Since we're
on vacation, and on the left coast, we slept in, made breakfast and
then settled down to watch the inauguration replayed on the internet. Just as the replay of now President(!) Obama's speech finished, we
looked out the window and saw a bobcat come wandering into view, glance
up at us in our picture window, sit in the shade and consider it's
surroundings, and then saunter off, in that insouciant cat-like way. I
don't give this any great meaning or interpretation – but it seemed
perfect.

— Julia Kay

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