Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Amazing Grace

Jessye Norman singing Amazing Grace ~ I can not say, or sing it, any better. I am filled with grace tonight--for the political process, for the healing that will now occur after the past eight years of strife and discord and unrest, for a most gracious concession speech by John McCain (despite the "boos" from his assembled crowd), for the humility, radiance and inspired leadership of Barack Obama at his shining and history-making night in Chicago.

This has been a great day for the United States of America and I will remember it always, as will my three children [one who voted in the real election and two who voted at school in a "mock" election]. It feels as if there has been a collective sigh of relief around this nation and the world--and celebration for the promise of the future.

grace |grās|
1 simple elegance or refinement of movement
• courteous goodwill
• ( graces) an attractively polite manner of behaving
2 (in Christian belief) the free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings.
• a divinely given talent or blessing
• the condition or fact of being favored by someone
3 (also grace period) a period officially allowed for payment of a sum due or for compliance with a law or condition, esp. an extended period granted as a special favor
4 a short prayer of thanks said before or after a meal
5 ( His, Her, or Your Grace) used as forms of description or address for a duke, duchess, or archbishop

ORIGIN Middle English: via Old French from Latin gratia, from gratus ‘pleasing, thankful’ ; related to grateful .


Suzan said...

Grace means so much to me. Our youngest bears the second name Grace. To be gracious is a great gift and I was impressed by Mr McCain's (apologies if I spelt it incorrectly) speech. The election has dominated our Australian TV today.

Melissa Holbrook Pierson said...

Thank you so much for this, Catherine. "Perfect grace" indeed is the state delivered by her voice. And the clip of MLK Jr. still, and always, brings shivers. What a speaker--and what words. "Free at last." Yes, that's the dream. I will need to think more about just what it is that causes this upwelling of emotion (and exactly what emotions are they? a stew, I think) to the point of tears about what has just occurred in this country. I told my son you may only get one moment like this in a lifetime, if you're lucky. The making of history.

Catherine said...

Grace is so important in a weary world. I have been filled with it all week--that and how humble Obama was during his acceptance speech. And what a speech, what a moment! Yes, I well up too when I think about it and while experiencing that evening. I watched the speech again the next day with our boys and told them the same: "This is history." Will we ever see a collective celebration like that again? Let's hope it is the beginning of many more to come--and the looks on people's faces. A release, pure joy, astonishment. RELIEF! Oh so many things-like you said, a stew of emotions.