Here's a thought that first occurred to me on the third weekend of January four years ago, and that feels all the truer to me now:
I love that presidential inaugurations now take place the day after MLK Day. Not only does it make for a lovely four-day weekend for some schools, but we have created a secular ritual of loss and rebirth that satisfies my mythically-oriented but ultimately agnostic soul.
Think about it: every third Monday of January, we here in the US celebrate the life of man who called to the better angels of our nature, and who died in the struggle to get our nation to live out its creed—that all men are created equal. Every Martin Luther King Day, I listen to King's speeches—the "I have a dream" behemoth, the "I have seen the Promised Land; I may not get there with you" Pisgah sight—and they fill me with both great hope and a great sense of loss. I cry. Every damned time. It's pathetic. Only it's not.
Then, every fourth year, on the third Tuesday in January, we indulge in the audacity of our on-going revolution, an exercise that embraces the idea that not only are we all one nation together (whatever our differences), but that we can, will, and do work continuously to make ours a more perfect union. Continue reading Inauguration Weekend: Ritual and Renewal