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January 19, 2009


I'm thinking about your remark about pilgrimage & holding it alongside what Victor & Edith Turner argue in Image and Pilgrimage in Christian Culture, that one of the "goals" of pilgrimage is the shared experience of "communitas" pilgrims encounter when they arrive. Pilgrimage is partly about places, but it's mostly about community. Regardless of who you are or where you come from, you find yourself united with other pilgrims once you get "there." The best description of this, I think, is Malcolm X's description of going on the Hajj and being astonished to see Muslims of all colors practicing together.

Anyhow, it seems to me that this journey is about that kind of pilgrimage: an experience of people more than an experience of place. I'm looking forward to watching it vicariously.

Well, wish we could be there. My husband and I are getting all dressed up and going to a fancy restaurant in Harvard Square to celebrate. They're roping off one floor for dancing. It's a first. Can't wait! Enjoy this amazing day and look forward to your next post!

I think you're right; there is a spiritual component to attending the Inauguration, as there was for many people voting for the first time in years last fall. Your guest blogger Teju Cole made me see that (maybe without him directly saying so).

I'm so glad you were there.

I agree with you.

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Who was Cassandra?

  • In the Iliad, she is described as the loveliest of the daughters of Priam (King of Troy), and gifted with prophecy. The god Apollo loved her, but she spurned him. As a punishment, he decreed that no one would ever believe her. So when she told her fellow Trojans that the Greeks were hiding inside the wooden horse...well, you know what happened.