I loved this picture the moment I saw it. I couldn’t articulate why apart from the obvious appeal; it showed love, it showed support, it showed togetherness and I thought it showed the president of the United States savouring his victory 2nd term win or perhaps with his eyes closed he was simply savouring the presence of his (beautiful and successful) wife Michelle (whose hair stays laid!!)
I knew the picture had gone viral with a huge number of people sharing it social network sights, Blackberry messenger profiles, group emails et al so it it wasn’t just me that felt something about it, it resonated with people everywhere not just in America.
Apparently, so says the Washington Post, the photograph was retweeted hundreds of thousands of times when tweeted from Barack’s twitter account shortly before his victory in the 2012 election, it became the most popular image in Twitter history. (#Obama stays making history 😀 )
When I read the Post’s article I learned that in fact the picture had been taken at a Democratic campaign rally in Iowa in August. That may for some beg the question why the picture was released in the way it was, when it was, what was the intended political message? Was this politics or was it simply a show of twimotion (i.e. Twitter emotion) from Barack.
Having read the Post article I don’t agree with or perhaps just don’t understand all the points the author makes but some struck and stuck; the idea that the construct of the picture neither emphasises the man’s power nor the woman’s beauty is a show of compfortable equality between the two and also that the image adds to a repository of images that celebrate the success of the Obamas in opposition to the frequent demonization of supposedly dysfunctional black families in popular culture.
The author comments that the picture “has all the generic ingredients of a successful political image. With its moody and slate-gray sky, it encapsulated the drama many of President Obama’s supporters felt [on that] Tuesday evening: the Obamas had weathered the storm”. What the authour describes as another latent message may also be apparent from the picture, he wrote that “[u]nlike many images of political marriage in which the man lays claim to his wife through a symbolically possessive gesture — touching her shoulder, raising her hand up or kissing — the embrace between these two people seems mutual”.
Whatever the “message” or the “meaning” political or otherwise that you derive from the picture, for me the picture reaffirmed one thing, that love, and especially for me black love, is a beautiful sight to behold. *love sigh*
It makes the heart grow fonder….no?
I have plenty of reasons for being absent from my blog… Firstly I lost my voice for a while, not literally but in the blogging sense. That constant voice or commentary that
we all I have running through my mind with each action and interaction in this beautiful game called life just went a bit quite. And I noticed it. So I paused. Just as I got to thinking about why, I became busy with work, extremely busy and so I just got on with that.
And then I went through a phase where I couldn’t or didn’t put finger to keyboard because I was too angry! That commentary I mentioned above became an angry voiced one.
It was angry at things going on around me, things going on in the world, angry at the seemingly casual and ever more common disrespecting of women, black women, all women, by men, in the media (yeah like I said, by men) and by people pretending to be men. I also became angry at women, women picking over and tearing down other women, in my social circles, in my social media circles and even more disappointingly within my professional circles *sighs*
I didn’t want to/couldn’t blog in the midst of all these things because… *shrugs* I mean, just because… it threw me off… It wasn’t what I wanted to say, although it was what it was. It was also a lot to process and so a lot of it I internalised. I spoke only to the commentary (sounds better than admitting I was talking to myself!!) asked questions and tried to work out my own answers.
Anyway so I took myself on a journey back recently; I thought about the time when my innervoice became quiet and thought about the questions and more importantly the answers I had come up with.
I realised that when my inner-voice had become muted it was at a time when I found myself on auto-pilot. It was at a time when I was just going through the motions: work, home, admin, work, family, work, work, home, work. Two things were abundantly clear to me on reflection, firstly that monotony dulls my senses and secondly that I need(ed) to inject a bit more variety, more activity, more spontaneity even, into my day to day.
I also thought about my inner anger and found that in a nutshell its cause was the same; it was because I wasn’t doing enough. I realised that my anger was a symptom caused by my own apathy and inactivity in the face of things that had pi**ed me off, troubled me, cried out to me for challange but that I had ignored, or at least I thought I had. And so I decided that I need to do more, react more, challenge and try to change more, and where I can’t make a change, well then I need to let go more.
Lastly I thought about my busy stage(s) and why it felt like I wasn’t able to juggle anything but work in those stages. (Don’t they say all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy? Well just call me Jack.) Again the answer was the same: change and more. Change my work practices, more doing, less procrastination (easier said than done I know!).
So there it is, a perhaps seemingly pointless walk through the reasons for my absence but nonetheless, the reasons for my absence.
*drops mic and exits blog-stage left*