Life Imitating Art

Where did the last four months go?  I think I missed the blurry edges between summer and fall.  One minute I was viewing the valley of retirees and lakeside homes outside Pigspittle, taking a moment to cool off from an uphill trek (literally and figuratively) of Obama canvassing, and the next I was bundled in my Obama fleece jacket (highly recommended, btw), warming my hands with hot coffee outside Pigspittle Dems HQ on a pre-dawn November morning.

It would be impossible to recreate all that we did in the last four months in a blog post, and probably would be boring at that.  I can say that I am now experiencing the kind of melancholy that David Axelrod lamented last night in his interview on 60 Minutes.  Call it a collective postpartum depression.  The intensity of the last days before the election was exhausting and exhilarating.  It was also singular.  Our lives are dotted with moments that transcend the ordinary.  Last week was added to my own highlights book.

President-elect Obama (how strangely wonderful to write that) did not win in Pigspittle, but that wasn’t the point.  Our goal was to add to the millions of votes throughout Ohio and we went beyond our expectations.  Along the way, I got to know two field organizers, both of whom are breaking my heart as they head out of town.  I know I won’t see them again and the emails will trail off as they travel to new jobs, new lives.  But, damn, it was good to have them here, prodding us on, inspiring us to do more, making me laugh.

When I drove to work two days after the election, I cried.  What now?  How do I go back to this sedate job?  Is this what I’m supposed to be doing?  We were part of something that was bigger than ourselves.  It had a soundtrack and running jokes and an ensemble of talent.  A poignant script.  An unlikely hero.  It was larger than life.

1 Comment Life Imitating Art

  1. Jacob R Clark November 29, 2008 at 12:51 pm


    Yeah, that got me, too.

    I had a bit of depression following that week. I mentioned in another post that empty feeling I got when I walked by the former Obama OSU HQ on High Street–now totally empty, and you’d never know what had been going on there just a few days earlier. In just the past seven weeks, I thrilled to see Springsteen’s acoustic set on the OSU Oval, and managed to see Obama twice–at Genoa Park in front of COSI, and again at the Statehouse with about 70,000 others.

    I wonder what happened to the folks I got to know a bit: perky Morgan, who coordinated our volunteers; the tired-looking guy from Rhode Island constantly tethered to his laptop, analyzing, strategizing, I presume; Peter, from Brooklyn, who came to Ohio with nothing but a few bucks and who practically lived at the HQ, always on the phone, his hardscrabble Brooklyn voice exhorting folks to vote for Obama-Biden; the pretty young girl who had just returned from Rwanda and planned to go to DC to start the next unwritten chapter of her life….

    I’m over that now. There’s too much grad school work to get done, and I struggle daily to make my rent. I’m proud of what we’ve done, and it’s time to move on and face the dark days of winter and economic meltdown.


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