'The Audacity of Hope' - there's a good title. I wonder if Barack Obama struggled with that one (or perhaps when you are President you have people to do that for you?). Let's hope for all of us today is the start of a new era of hope.
'American Tune' - today's video clip, is one of my all time favourites. I first heard it on a cronky old cassette of the concert in Central Park, lying on cool summer grass watching the stars. It was one of those teenage nights when the world seems full of limitless possibility, when you talk until the early hours of the morning full of certainty - and hope. The tune is based on a Bach chorale - and there is something hymn-like about it. Weary but hopeful. ('And I dreamed ... that my soul rose unexpectedly, and looking back down at me, smiled reassuringly ...').
As a European, it's what I've always loved about America - as I wrote in the prologue of 'All the Lovely Ruined Things': 'even the road names have a sense of possibility - highway, freeway'. Thinking about it, I've been lucky to work with Americans, many of my closest friends are American - and I married a man born in Vancouver. Some of our best trips have been road trips along the north and south coasts. It is that sense of freedom and space - the sense of possibility and hope I love about the country.
Barack is a great name for a president isn't it? I was thinking about names last night - do you like yours? (I am still 'Katie' to family, but always felt more 'Kate' as in 'kiss me Kate', Taming of the Shrew possibly ...) What made you choose your children's names? Or your fictional characters? I named the protagonist of ALRT Maya because I had just read several books by Maya Angelou, and I knew this woman was a survivor like her. Her lover is named Michael because I read somewhere that secretly all men would like to be called Mike or have a best friend called Mike. Her first love is Gabriele because my Italian tutor at the Courtauld was called Gabriele and I loved the name, he was a good man - like the character.
TODAY'S PROMPT: It's a historic day. Why not just take some time with your journal today and think about your feelings, your hopes for the future. I've been rocked by the death of an old colleague - a lovely man who taught me a lot about antiquarian books. He was still young, and in memory larger than life - as his obituary said he was 'irrepressible ... with an unforgettable laugh'. Life's short - we are all on a one way ticket to the same destination. What counts is the journey we choose.