Monday, June 02, 2008

Beginnings and Endings

By Carol Gee


Many women in the United States are facing the ending of a dream these days. Those of us in that place are now relatively sure that next January there will not be an inauguration of the first female president in the nation's history. And in a way that awareness can be heartbreaking to longtime feminists. I count myself in that cohort, even though I began to be an Obama supporter a few weeks before our state's primary. It is not that I did not want a woman to be the nominee. I have deeply looked forward to that eventuality for decades. I just could not support the particular woman running in 2008, ending my dream for now.

Beginnings plus endings equal transitions. Sometimes these periods can be discomfiting psychological stages in which to be thrown, because we have so many associated emotions. We might feel sadness that something we valued has ended, anxiety about what is to come, anger that transition was forced upon us, or ambivalence because of unresolved mixed feelings. We might have changes in appetite, sleep patterns, increased hyper-vigilance or numbness, tears or other unusual behaviors. Not everyone sails easily through transition.

The Democratic party's primary season is ending Tuesday. As this very useful WaPo election season map clearly shows, Montana and South Dakota are holding the final two elections that should decide the nominee for POTUS. This begins the period when heretofore undeclared Super Delegates will announce their preferences, moving the party towards its desired unification in order to win the election in November. The problem is that Senator Clinton is yet unaware of this reality. She remains in denial and in transition. She appears to be having the most difficulty of any of us in letting go of her dream.

The presumptive nominees of both parties are already out of transition. Senators Barack Obama and John McCain have already begun the general election campaign to win the chance to be center-stage at the presidential inauguration.

And Barack Obama and his family have ended their membership in their church. Senator Obama and/or his wife and daughters all faced some of those uncomfortable transitional feelings after making this difficult decision. My hope is that relief will come, too.


NASA's Shuttle mission, STS-124, has begun its journey to the International Space Station, where the Japanese module Kibo ("hope") will be installed. This mission marks the end of the major construction of habitable space on the ISS. The shuttle docks with the ISS today.


One of our granddaughters ended her high school years Saturday with a grand graduation ceremony. And very soon she will begin preparations in earnest for starting college in the fall. She begins to make the transition from adolescent to adult, just like millions of happy "mortar board tossers" all over the country.

(Cross-posted at South by Southwest.)

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