Little Joe (my son) and I listened to today’s inauguration from my workplace across from the State House. Today’s ceremony was about a fresh start for Massachusetts, just as Little Joe is getting a fresh start.
We listened to Deval’s speech, and it was moving for what it said, disappointing for what it left unsaid. Although I wanted to feel upbeat, I found myself wondering why he neglected to mention the GLBT community, which he also left out of his victory speech on election night.
Far more inspiring, I felt, was Rabbi Jonah Pesner’s invocation. His words represented all that is good—in fact, the very best—within the Judeo-Christian tradition. Integral to Pesner’s faith is a longing for social justice and a deep awareness of our connectedness. For me, these are the most important elements of divinity. I tried to find the text of his prayer online, but met with no success, so I’m going to write him a letter.
I took the above photo as the crowds were gathering on Beacon Street. I don’t know if the man asleep here even knew that such a historic event was taking place less than a hundred feet away while he dozed. I do not know his story. Nor do I know if Deval Patrick’s promises of hope and change will improve his situation and the lives of those like him. I suppose that depends upon whether or not Patrick wil repair the holes left by the Romney administration in our Commonwealth’s safety net.