Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A little letter to America....


Do you know… today when I woke up it felt like a Christmas morning.

Do you know, I fell in love with you many years ago even before setting foot on your land.

At that time, I was a student in France and my major was American literature and civilization. It was so thrilling to discover you through your writers. Ok, I must admit I wasn't too keen on Henry James but Carson Mc Cullers moved me to tears. I was drawn to the sensual song of despair and tragedy in Tennessee Williams' plays. I was captivated by Ralph Ellison and Langston Hughes.

Writing my BA paper on Faulkner's Light in August, I got lucky enough to study one year as a graduate student at the University of Virginia founded by Thomas Jefferson.



I was so thrilled…At last, I would meet you ! at last I would set foot on your land…

Do you know, when I landed in New York for the first time in my life, it all seemed familiar already : the yellow cabs, the crazy traffic...You showed it to me already in your movies.

And when I finally reached Virginia by bus, I, the little frenchie with Malagasy roots felt somewhat weird. Gradually, I grasped your reality. As I was getting accustomed to my life on the campus, I could sense this WASP thing, I didn’t understand why black and white students didn’t mix in fraternities and sororities. My friends explained that it was the way things were.

The day of my departure, I was in tears and my friends told me: "you can’t leave ….you're an American now !”. My sweet friends…

Do you know, the day I left I promised you secretly : “I’ll come back..you can be sure of that”.

Today is YOUR day…

And I can't help thinking of your past and of the future which awaits you.

Could Thomas Jefferson imagine one day that the 44th president of America would be a black man claiming that it is time for change ?

Could Booker T.Washington - born of an enslaved woman - who wrote Up from Slavery in 1901 and was the first leader of the Tuskegee Institute, imagine this wonderful thing happened ?

Do you know you make me cry of joy ?

I was so proud of your people who stood in line for hours, hoping to make a dream come true...


Oh I know…the dream has come true and now the tough job begins.

The whole world has its eyes on you. How are you going to deal with Irak and Afghanistan ? And first, how are you going to deal with your own problems?

Like your new president said, you’ll “have to roll up your sleeves and start repairing the roof".


I’m so sure you will…

Dear America, thank you thank you for making me and the world believe in the American dream again....


pic: campus of UVA - Charlottesville


40 comments:

Linda Sue said...

YES! OBAMA! So much to be done- I surround him with light and protection, LOVELY optomism, for the first time in YEARS, I have not cringed at the sight of a waving American flag..first time in years I feel HOPE!

ps. Falkner- wrote my paper on him as well...

Lynette said...

Stop it! LOL! You're making me cry again! I have never felt so much hope, so much energy, so much PRIDE! I've never been so proud to be an American!

Three years ago, on the day when hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, my partner and I were on our way to Vienna to be filmed for a Canadian documentary for Mozart's 250th birthday. When we arrived, we sensed the anti-American sentiment so strongly that we allowed the Austrians we encountered to believe that we were Canadian like most of the film crew.

Never again will I have to pretend that I'm not American. I can hold my head high and declare with pride that I am indeed and American and that I helped elect Barack Obama as our 44th President. And I pledge to you, the citizens of the World that I will roll up my sleeves and work with our new president to right the wrongs of the previous administration(s), help fix our own problems, and reach out to the world in peace and unity.

Pray for us as we face the daunting task before us.

Rob (Inukshuk Adventure) said...

Yes indeed, this is a time for hope to flourish. Much hard work on the road ahead. Yes they can!

Linda at Lime in the Coconut! said...

What a moving and brilliant post. Thank you. Thank you.

Elizabeth said...

What a lovely letter to America.
It was such an emotional night.
I cried and cried.
Can't stop crying in fact.
There was a super interview with Maya Angelou on CBS this morning.
Things are going to get better!

willow said...

This is so beautiful and touching, Lala. Thank you so much, dear bloggy friend, for loving our country and believing in us, too. I am absolutely bursting with American pride today!! Keep President-Elect Obama in your prayers. He has a huge task set before him.

Christina said...

I adore this post. You know i never got the fraternity thing, maybe that's why I never was interested in pledging.

Your post reminds me of all the hope that comes along with having Barack Obama as our new president elect.

This is just the beginning, what a long road this will be for him to help us along the way to a healing point.

You should see the smiles and expressions on the children's faces in my neighborhood. It starts and home, I know. But could it possibly be, that all these children need in ghettos are a small boost of hope to head them in the right direction. Somebody who comes from the same walk of life, someone who never gave up. This is a beautiful thought.

I hope one day you do come to America again, so I can find you and give you the hug and kiss I have wanted to give you, since we connected.

: ) I know all of the people who weren't allowed to vote- because of the color of their skin who are no longer with us, are smiling in heaven.

So much love to you, sis.

Steph said...

A beautiful, moving letter. Thank you for believing and for hoping. Our country got kidnapped for a few years, but we've brought ourselves home now and we're ready to roll our sleeves up and work with our new president to regain our promise to the world: to be a beacon of peace, justice, and equality.

Thank you!

Mary-Laure said...

I'm thrilled and so proud to be an American today.

I didn't know you were, like me, a lover of William Faulkner. The Sound And The Fury is my own favorite.
UVA looks gorgeous!

Diane said...

I agree-- this is the real Christmas morning... great posts..... I can't stop crying...

A Cuban In London said...

That was a true historical moment, one of those 'Do you remember where you were when...' mental souvenirs.

Greetings from London.

tangobaby said...

Lala,

Thank you for believing in us. It's been incredibly hard for those of us here, feeling like we've been living a waking nightmare for many years. Your letter is just one more instance of goodness that will keep us buoyed and ready to move forward, as we take these bold steps into the future. We have a long way to go, but now I think a lot of us believe that Yes We Can!

Gillian said...

OH yes! Happy day indeed. Amazing post Lala, lucky you, studying in America. What a great thing that was for you.
Hope lives...
xoxo

l'air du temps said...

how beautiful are you and your letter to America! in the most beautiful way i have been speechless today. as you know of me by now i am always eager to share a word, a sentence or a story, but today the words escape me.

i want so much to say something about your time in new york amongst the crowds and yellow cabs. and too about your time in the beautiful and incredibly complicated south.

and so tempting to delve into your university studies, all that you have learned and absorbed in the most beautiful way.

your care and love for these united states...

it may not look like it from what i have typed here, but words escape me now as they have all day.

i just walked around manhattan today as if all the brothers and sisters of the world were hugging me and i was hugging them right back...

but somehow across this cyber space i feel as if you and i and your dear readers have a special connection.

with that in mind, please...

accept my deepest appreciation for who you are and what we share and this journey and moment in time that we share as citizens of our global village...

i am told today that Barack means blessings in arabic...

blessings to you dear Lala!

Yoli said...

Lalita, me haces llorar con tus bellas palabras. Que carta tan hermosa y del corazon. Eres una marabilla mi amiga.

Anairam said...

What a great and positive post! Now the hard work starts. Courage, people!

Gina said...

Great post!
I stayed up all night to see the results. Happy was I !!

Gina from Germany
http://www.ginanews05.blogspot.com/

alis said...

Well said! When I lived in the USA for a year, it was at King of Prussia(PA), and I went to school there but didn't feel/notice a tiniest bit of racism. I guess it depends on the area. Anyway I would be happy about this even if he was white/anything else :)

Here, There, Elsewhere... and more said...

Magnificent post - j'adore cette lettre d'amour à l'amérique...
It's soo good to say ADIEU to Bush too..!
Things can only get better and it
couldn't have happened at a better time..:)

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Thanks so much for such a movingly honest post. America feels like home to me once more, and it really has not during these last shameful eight years! I live in the city of Martin Luther King, and am proud to bursting of my country today.

Happy day to you from Edward and myself!

Mélanie said...

American dream came true , once again !!! Beautiful post

sealaura said...

que bonita carta! y gracias por visitarme.

kendalee said...

Great post Lala! This week has restored our faith in America and the power of hope and inspiration in general, hasn't it? Wonderful stuff!!!

corine said...

I'm so glad you posted this. No we don't hate America. We root for America.

High Desert Diva said...

What a wonderful post!

karina said...

Lala, this post is very touching!
Beautiful!!!!
Here(Argentina) everybody mixes up and this is the thing I love most about my country.

willow said...

I just wanted to come back and let you know that I loved this post so much that I had WT read it, too.

a mouthy irish-catholic woman said...

i am still crying with joy....

P said...

Such an exciting time! HURRAY!!!

Sara said...

Dear Lala, thank you so much for your beautiful letter.

Wendy said...

Lala,

Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful sentiments about our new president Barack Obama and the hope and inspiration he has given to millions of people across the world. I have never been more proud of my nationality. I have so much pride and hope in my heart, sometimes I feel like it's going to burst! We are ready to stand by his side and fight for what this country was founded on. This is my first time on your site and I find it very fascinating! I will visit often.

Besos from Chicago!

Lavinia said...

So beautifully written, Lala! What a beautiful letter to America. I like what you said about New York feeling like home right away....the American movies have had the same effect on me. I always feel like Audrey Hepburn when I am in New York!

paris parfait said...

YES WE DID! Am thrilled beyond measure that we chose hope over fear and elected Obama. We have so much work to do, but the important thing is, we know we can do it. We have hope and optimism that the Bush-Cheney administration and its followers tried to stamp out. They couldn't, because at the heart of America, our spirit remains. Thanks for your support and encouragement during this important election. xoxox

Patricia said...

Just....Thank You!

Sue McGettigan said...

Amen to that!

Jim McNeely said...

Thank uou so much for writing such a beautiful post. It is touching to see the beauty of so many people's spirits from all walks of life embracing the elevation of mankind. There will always be work to be done but is is easier when we are united as one. Blogs such as this one can touch the lives of millions, not only through words but through pictures that convey the warm connecting passion of the person that posted them. Keep inspiring!

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