Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A glance at the Capitol

Things downtown in DC, near the Capitol, are fairly quiet.  The days that I work, I emerge from the metro at Union Station, the enormous 19th century marble train station, within sight of the Capitol building itself.  When the trees aren't leafed out, I can see the dome framed in one of the huge marble arches as I come off the escalator and turn.  In that sight line, there is also a giant brass eagle on a tall pedestal that stands posted on the brick plaza outside Union Station, pointing toward the dome.  

If the dome isn't visible from that vantage point, I can eventually see it through the trees as I walk to my right toward the crosswalk at Massachusetts Avenue.  

Some days, seeing the dome peeking through the trees is like looking for your mother in the audience at a school play.  Other days, it's like rubbing a lucky penny.  Some days, it's just a habitual gesture, like much else.  

But it's quiet these days: as Congress officially goes into recess during an election year, the kids start clearing out for the battleground states.  And, in the case of the House aides, their own members' states.  

The feeling is of collectively held breath.  


steve said...

Beautifully written post. One minor error--Union Station missed the nineteenth century by a few years--it opened in 1907.

While I'm working in Illinois and staying in Iowa for the time being, I voted in Indiana, which is a battleground state for the first time since 1920. I had done a post a while back complaining that even though I'd voted in every presidential election since 1972, my vote has never counted, thanks to the electoral college system. It's just possible that my vote for Obama (actually for a slate of electors pledged to Obama in the real presidential election in December) will actually count for something.

jeneva said...

Thanks for the correction, Steve! I should have looked it up to be sure before I posted.

I'm glad your vote will be meaningful--we all just have to wait. No early voting in Maryland, so I'll be voting Nov. 4. Indiana in play is pretty exciting, I agree! Did you see Rachel Maddow's football analogy last night on her show on MSNBC?