Election Day, November, 1884
By Walt Whitman
If I should need to name, O Western World, your powerfulest scene and show,
‘Twould not be you, Niagara—nor you, ye limitless prairies—nor your huge rifts of canyons, Colorado,
Nor you, Yosemite—nor Yellowstone, with all its spasmic geyser-loops ascending to the skies, appearing and disappearing,
Nor Oregon’s white cones—nor Huron’s belt of mighty lakes—nor Mississippi’s stream:
—This seething hemisphere’s humanity, as now, I’d name—the still small voice vibrating—America’s choosing day,
(The heart of it not in the chosen—the act itself the main, the quadriennial choosing,)
The stretch of North and South arous’d—sea-board and inland—Texas to Maine—the Prairie States—Vermont, Virginia, California,
The final ballot-shower from East to West—the paradox and conflict,
The countless snow-flakes falling—(a swordless conflict,
Yet more than all Rome’s wars of old, or modern Napoleon’s:) the peaceful choice of all,
Or good or ill humanity—welcoming the darker odds, the dross:
—Foams and ferments the wine? it serves to purify—while the heart pants, life glows:
These stormy gusts and winds waft precious ships,
Swell’d Washington’s, Jefferson’s, Lincoln’s sails.
I was out most of this very rainy Tuesday, but I didn't have to walk much in the weather, so it was all good. After a rushed morning of writing, I met Karen at Tara Thai for lunch and discussion of ugly Christmas sweaters (which we'd thought about shopping for, but she thought better of and I don't need anyway, since I'm usually only invited to Chanukah parties).
I did some boring shopping in Target, then arrived to feed the cats at home, where Maddy wanted a ride to work since it was pouring. Since I'd gotten so little exercise, I drove her to the mall and intended to take a walk there, but Sears emailed me $10 in ShopYourWay bucks, which I took as a sign that I should go buy that winter coat that was already more than 50 percent off.
Paul and I watched The Flash (finally a decent Caitlin episode and we should have Drunk Barry more often) and caught up partway on The Gifted (still uneven but good enough to keep watching) around following the election results, which were very heartening nearby in Virginia and in New Jersey! Here are some photos from Golden Gardens Park in Seattle, which is on the beach: