April 12, 2016

Honest Abe

Sometimes it trips me out how strange and unique looking Abraham Lincoln was. He accentuated it. That posture. The attenuated great coat. That hat.

It must have been so striking seeing him speak in front of a crowd. Tall people have this advantage as politicians, as leaders, because the loom above the rabble.

Idiosyncratic fashion and countenance can only help recognition. This man's appearance was famous before the Internet, before TV, before movies. To hear such intelligence, such reason, fountain out of such a striking man must have been awesome in person.

Not handsome. Rough-hewn, even simian, elongated alien. Rangy as the Wild West.

At his first inauguration, March 4, 1861:
We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.
It will take stature, fortitude, and mythic singularity to keep us from being torn apart again.

No comments: