It was so beautiful

Excerpts from For a Day, Our Political Troubles Were Eclipsed by Peggy Noonan:

“It was beautiful: Up and down Madison Avenue, people stood together and looked upward.

…It was so beautiful.

Up and down the street, all through the eclipse, people spontaneously came together—shop workers and neighborhood mothers, kids and bank employees, shoppers and tourists. They’d gather in groups and look up together. Usually one or two people would have the special glasses, and they’d be passed around. Everyone would put them on and look up and say “Wow!” or “Incredible!” then laugh and hand the glasses on…

There was a tattooed man in a heavy metal band T-shirt, with his teenage son. “You want?” the man said. He was lending his glasses to everyone who came by. “Are you doing this just to be nice?” I asked. “Yeah,” he said. “We got them free.” Something nice had happened to him so he was spreading it around. […]

So that’s what I saw, uptown to midtown—sharing and wonder and friendliness, along with a continual refrain: Here, take my glasses. Do you see?

There was something about it that left me by the end quite moved. Witnessing spontaneous human graciousness and joy is stirring. And we were seeing something majestic, an assertion of nature and nature’s God, together. It was tenderly communal.

And it was this: Everyone was normal. These were regular Americans being nice to one another and to whoever walked by. They were all ages, conditions, races, sizes. They were generous and kindly. No one kept their pleasure to themselves.

They were not fighting in the streets with scarfs covering their faces. They were not marching and chanting anti-Semitic or racist slogans. They were not shutting down speakers on campus. They were not ranting at a rally. […]

They were normal, regular people. They were who we are.

That’s what so moved me.

…And now, here, the dread political part. Maintaining perspective is going to be useful in the future, because our national politics, the news of which pulses nonstop through our many platforms, is probably not going to get better anytime soon. We are in a place we’ve never been. No matter how politically sophisticated you are, you’ve never been to this particular rodeo.

…What to do when the mess gets you low? One thing is to have perspective on who we are. We have gotten through much. We’ll get through this. We are a great people and a good one who show this to one another every day. Here, take my glasses. Do you see?”


Notes: Find entire essay by Peggy Noonan, For a Day, Our Political Troubles Were Eclipsed. wsj.com August 24, 2017.  Photo: NY Daily News

Comments

  1. Yes! more of this please 🙏🏻💕

    Liked by 2 people

  2. A moment that lasts in our memory as long as that which sparked it. Now, if we could string more of these moments together…

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Love the part about the “tattooed man in a heavy metal band T-shirt”. Obeying the cardinal rule, no need to pay kindness back, pay it forward!
    Lovely article. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. You’ve captured the people in a celebratory mood. More togetherness is what may bring healing to our land.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Reblogged this on The Writers Desk and commented:
    A post that will make you smile again.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. “This land was made for you and me”. The true America. Thank you for sharing a beautiful post of Americans being Americans. Well done.☺☺☺

    Liked by 1 person

  7. so cool, and i noticed this phenomenon as well. i was in a professional development session and everyone rushed outside, sharing glasses, phones, laughs and sounds of awe. it was a universal experience, free of politics, race, class, and education, and enjoyed and shared on some many levels in so many places.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m 6 hours away from the City, but we, too, saw people looking up at the sky in happy wonder like children sharing the world with each other again. It helped heal that day when we looked up at the sky for awful reasons and could share wonder with no one. I like Peggy — I wish every generation someone like her. Thanks for this, David — it made me happy!

    Like

  9. Thanks for bringing this to my attention David. Thank you Peggy.

    Like

  10. “News” people have always made money on creating and seeking conflict. We fool ourselves when we think that most people are like the few who engage in violence and trolling in the name of a cause. I see people of all races and political persuasions getting along everyday in real life. Maybe as we mature online we will become more disciplined in what we view, support and comment on. Maybe we will turn from our phones and smile at one another. this was such a moving post! Thank you.

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  11. I love this, DK! We happened to be in a gas station in Texas and had the same experience..passed our glasses around in the store, at the pumps, etc. Young, old, black, white, Hispanic, all smiling, marveling, SHARING a communal moment free of rancor. Just filled with wonder and happy amazement. To tell you the truth, it made me cry. Such a simple, but potent reminder of our commonality….

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Yes, yes! We can all come together, can’t we?

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    Peggy Noonan’s partial essay … we all ARE one! 🙏🏽

    Like

  14. Anonymous says:

    I had no idea that the eclipse was view-able in Manhattan.It was so quiet when the eclipse took place and the temp, cooled. We being outside noticed a teenage boy coming up the road…I said you must see, here you go and shared my glasses./// In the email I sent you about the eclipse (this is an excerpt) I talked of people from all walks of life, uniting in AWE..(n my area people come from all over the world) At totality, a crown of glowing light shines around the moon. … At the peak of an annular eclipse, a ring of sunlight is still visible behind the moon.” This brought people together to witness the “Crown of Glowing Light Shinning Around the Moon” and I think of the Glorious Sight of Eclipse and how how Light always Overwhelms Darkness and How on another given day, People Do Not See the Miracle of Light, of Life and of God, which is Surrounding Us Each and Every Day… Why Aren’t People, United Daily?… and God said, “…Light shall shine out of darkness,…” 2 Corinthians 4:6 …Life is a Miracle…Each Breath is a Gift…We are All Works in Progress <<<that gives me Hope for people to learn to get along…

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I love her perspective! Connecting to something bigger and more powerful than our individual self is what will bring us together. May it be the light rather than the dark. 🌞

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Brillant. And beautiful.
    Thank you for this santé, David. 😗

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Whether by the grace of God through the awesomeness of His beautiful wonders or the greatest atrocities of man to man as he stoops to his lowest; it is then that differences fade and we prove that we can come together as one.
    -Alan

    Liked by 1 person

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