Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Ms. Sarah Goes to Washington

I took this picture with my very own camera phone just last night.

Last year, my grandparents sent me a card. "We are so proud of you," they said, "for becoming a lawyer in our nation's capital."

In our nation's capital. I felt like a small town hero.

But being in DC does make me feel a little like a small town hero. I recently watched Mr. Smith Goes to Washington again, the Jimmy Stewart movie about a young idealistic senator's first time in the capital. Mr. Smith (Jimmy Stewart) becomes embroiled in corruption, unwittingly of course, and when he goes to tell the truth about his "distinguished" fellow senator, he becomes the subject of attacks from all of the powers of politics--the other senators, his state's political machine, big media. But he stands strong, literally, as he filibusters for twenty-three hours, while waiting for his state to send their support for him to Congress. (Technological advancement would clearly change this in a remake.) But the truth is stymied and the only word that comes from his state is anti, anti, anti, but he doesn't buckle. He stands for truth and righteousness, as he knows it, but then he collapses beneath the weight of his own exhaustion. And the movie only resolves and the girl gets the guy when the senior senator at the center of the corruption caves and comes clean. I just gave the movie away. But it's still good.

The point of this, I guess, is to say that my patriotic DC-self is awakening. The metro stop after mine is Arlington Cemetery.
If I take a wrong turn leaving the office, I end up at the White House. Last night after work, I met Elizabeth at the Jefferson Memorial. The sun was setting, the high schoolers were touring, and the lights of Virginia shone in the Potomac. And then Elizabeth and I got scammed by a woman asking for money for a taxi ride.

I am not dissuaded. Tomorrow, I will wake up, and I will go to work, and I will be a lawyer in our nation's capital. I will stand for truth and righteousness. I will search Westlaw like a colonial revolutionary. I will bluebook like a citizen and a patriot. And when I turn over in my bed tomorrow night, George and Martha will turn with me, nuzzle into my pillow, and whistle "When Johnny Comes Marching Home" softly in my ear, as I fall asleep under a giant, down-filled flag.


ken said...

Thank you for this post! It's so easy during an election year to forget about all the things that make this country great.

Marisa said...

i LOVE the picture! I miss DC so much!