Many Called, Few Chosen

I was in the Intermarché supermarket and I felt myself inflating slightly with American pride when City of New Orleans came piping in amongst the citrus and dried fruit section. Ah, Arlo Guthrie. Hearing him sing the song in person, once when I opened for him at the Keswick Theatre and two summers ago at the Rhythm Festival thrilled me, and it’s moving to hear his recorded version. But a line or two in, it became clear that this was a lame lackluster imitation and I felt a double dose of shame. One for that little moment of misplaced patriotism and the other for shopping at lunchtime in France.

I was relieved when I found out the Intermarché nearby is now open all day Friday and Saturday, because we’re often too disorganized to get to the store before the usual lunchtime closing hours of 12 to 3. But I felt sheepish limping in there at 1:15 pm or so, and paranoid that the often unpleasant clerks were even more disdainful than ever because shouldn’t they be having lunch with the rest of the country?

I’m thinking about America a lot lately. I’ve had this feeling of anticipation, ever since Obama was elected, that it’s only a matter of time before I receive a phone call telling me I’m needed in Washington. There’s a petition circulating asking for the institution of a Secretary of the Arts. I know, voting, making some albums, sweating on stage and knowing a Steve Goodman song don’t exactly qualify me for an advisory position but there must be something I can do!

Just the other day Eric and I got word from World Cafe that they were going to run our appearance on January 20 of all days. On one hand I thought well they’ll surely pre-empt all the regular radio programming that day for inaugural coverage so that sucks. On the other hand, it felt like a call to duty – our way to participate in the festivities, even if was taped back when McCain/Palin was still a very real possibility.

Well, they’ve changed the date now to February 3. And I won’t be over in the US again until late February or so. I’ve got to find some other way to contribute, or at least celebrate. I guess I’ll go to Paris next week. Strange to think it’s the closest to America around here, but these things are all relative.

13 thoughts on “Many Called, Few Chosen

  1. Norma

    I know how you feel. I’m tempted to jump on one of the buses that Democrats Abroad is running from Toronto to DC. I’ll invite folks over to watch the inauguration. I’m sure I’ll bawl like a baby when Obama takes the oath. Never thought I’d see the day! And it feels like a day of deliverance from the dark side.I’m not moving back there, though, until health care and a few other things are fixed.

  2. Rosie

    I love shopping in France in the few shops that open during lunchtime…they are always deserted and the staff do look at you as though you are insane in some way to be out when everyone else in the country is sitting at a dining table.I shall be watching obama with a tear in my eye as well.We might as well enjoy the brief moment before things start going horribly wrong as usual!

  3. amy

    Maybe there’s still a chance Becky? thanks for the birthday wishes. (why is it always the “big” 5-0? it’s all downhill from here? Or maybe it is the peak of all birthdays?)It does seem naive to feel so hopeful and emotional Rosie, and Norma – but I guess we have to take it where we can find it…

  4. Anonymous

    Amy, You would be perfect for the Secretary of the Arts. No one is more beautiful, intelligent and passionate than you! Wish you much success on your 2009 tour….please come and do more gigs in the states in the coming years. Happy Birthay!! You are getting more & more beautiful as the years go by, what is your secret?? I love you! Stephanie

  5. halfpear

    Dang! I knew there was a reason I applied online to work for the Obama/Biden administration. If you get the Arts Czar gig, Amy, can I be your dogsbody? What a team!

  6. Anonymous

    Forget about Obama’s cabinet Amy. When I become President, you will be the first person that I would nominate to be on my cabinet! D.C. definitely needs more hot and talented women creating real change. Happy Birthday! You are an incredible beauty!!! Amanda

  7. Michelew

    Amy, as always, I love your posts.I agree with everyone else, I think You should be Secretary of the Arts.I need to stop by more often, but I am glad I came today to say… Happy Birthday!!You are living, breathing proof 50 today sure ain’t the 50 of my childhood.But what’s a number, anyway?

  8. Anonymous

    Amy, Your diary is awesome! You would definitely get my vote as Secretary of the Arts. Happy Birthay! Hope you make some great wishes. You are amazingly hot and so multi-talented….WOW! Cindi

  9. amy

    Hmm, who are these gushing, randomly named women? People named Cindi surely do not read this blog…the use of the word “hot” is really getting to be a problem too. I guess some people have nothing better to do with their life. Too bad I just don’t have the energy to “supprimer” all these comments.Anyway, Peter I still regret that time I passed up a chance to visit the White House after hours with the dBs – this’ll be my chance right?And thanks Michele, I loved your Malibu photos. x from Paris

  10. amy

    TBNIL of course you would laugh at another’s discomfort – you’re British!I thought of you in BHV, next time we will have to meet up and Madison.

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