A Final Thought For 2012

From NPR’s ‘Writer’s Almanac’

New Year Resolve – by May Sarton

The time has come

To stop allowing the clutter

To clutter my mind

Like dirty snow,

Shove it off and find

Clear time, clear water.

 

Time for a change,

Let silence in like a cat

Who has sat at my door

Neither wild nor strange

Hoping for food from my store

And shivering on the mat.

 

Let silence in.

She will rarely speak or mew,

She will sleep on my bed

And all I have ever been

Either false or true

Will live again in my head.

 

For it is now or not

As old age silts the stream,

To shove away the clutter,

To untie every knot,

To take the time to dream,

To come back to still water.

There will be time enough to look forward;  there is no need to look back – we’re not heading in that direction.  For now, here’s to this moment when we can just enjoy the whisper of possibility without feeling obligated to act;  relax the ‘shoulds’, ‘musts’ and ‘have-tos’ for one day.  Accept these wishes for a year of joy and good health, laughter and music, prosperity in all ways and love as always…love.  Happy New Year everyone..

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Winding Down The Road

As 2012 begins its inevitable walk to the ‘Exit’ sign, and 2013 lingers outside the Entrance waiting for the bouncers to accept its credentials and admit it into our crazy, rockin’ psyches, I’ve got to grab a moment of retrospection about the road the karma truck has traveled since I first turned the key in the ignition in early January of this passing year.

I had no map – as you now know, it would have proven useless anyway given my challenges with geography.  I was just going to drive with an eye to the sky and an ear to my heart.  Such spontaneous, free-formed initiatives were new to me.  You don’t work within the confines of a white-shoe, professional service firm and ad-lib your actions too much (though I certainly did my share – after all irreverence can be a good and freeing thing).  But again, I digress..

I agonized about hitting ‘publish’ for the first time, returning to my computer obsessively to see if anyone had stopped by.  I learned relatively quickly to leave the ‘stats alone, and to let go of any fantasies of becoming one of those bloggers that arrive at notoriety with equal parts serendipity and timing.  And as with most illusions that are suspended, reality became a far more incredible experience.

David Kanigan (davidkanigan.com)  who writes’Lead.Learn.Live’ (read it read it read it – you will look forward to his posts daily, and feel a bit bereft if for some reason he gives himself a break to take a vacation or something) was my first ‘follower’. Lori, a writer by profession with prodigious creativity and warmth (and a fabulous gift unto herself) posting at donnaanddiablo.wordpress.com, was my second follower.  Andy, my sister Deborah and friend Joanne followed thereafter.  And now a year later with over 600 followers and 31,000 views, I still have no clue where the karma truck is going.  What I do know is that it is traveling with an incredible entourage of people who openly share their thoughts, encourage me to keep the gas tank full and forgive me some of my lamer efforts (like yesterday’s post – a non-existent YouTube video – yes, I need more Apple therapy).

There is no question I would have continued writing, for there is someplace I’m heading with this, and I am hoping that one day you all will help me figure that out with your suggestions and ideas.  But for today, as I look back I can’t ask you for anything more.  I can only thank you for all that you’ve given me.  Friendships that have grown out of invisible threads that somehow connected us – we each picked up an end.  We have shared the stories of life – marriages beginning and ending, lives changing and morphing like shape shifters in a sci-fi novel, hearts exploding with pain and/or exuberance, illness and the new breath that arrives with the spring, questions with no answers and answers that are equivocal.  We have been silly and we have been considered.  These conversations have been some of the most fulfilling and instructive and delightful exchanges I have ever had.  You let me risk tipping a hand that I have held close for a very long time.  And you graced me with showing me yours.

I’m not sure what 2013 holds for the karma truck.  I do know that I am incredibly grateful for the friendships that I have come to cherish, the absolutely crazy-with-talent people who I follow, with perpetual open-mouthed awe and an ability to be as irritating as a relentlessly circling mosquito.  Thank you for your patience and encouragement.

I hope 2013 brings joy and good health, the courage to risk and the freedom to dream, long walks and endless possibilities.  I hope you feel lighter and less inclined to contort yourself into something you are not – for you have shown over and over again how amazing you are without such unnecessary effort.  I hope friendships deepen, love visits us all generously and often, and that we’re smart enough to relish its presence.  And I hope what we put out into this world meets the threshold of kindness and grace that allows for only goodness to be returned.  Here’s to next year.

(ps.  David – if this doesn’t work, don’t tell me..;-)

The Thing About Snow

I am not a snow bunny.  Never have been.  I don’t ski – the mere thought of choosing to go downhill on two highly polished slats of fiberglass prompts paroxysms of vertigo.  I had beautiful white ice skates when I was a kid – with blue and white pom-poms.  They far exceeded in loveliness the grace with which I used them.  I’m clumsy on dry pavement, so you can imagine my impromptu choreography when the weather is inclement.  I’m a walking slapstick skit.

But I love the first serious snow of the season.  I love how the snow forces commitment.  It commits itself to the ground with purpose, hugging the ground as if it will never let it go.  It demands that the world be quiet, muting everything but this delicious silence that you can’t help but notice.  It reduces the myriad of alternatives and choices that we make throughout the day.  Somehow the highest imperative becomes to snuggle in to the moment and let it have its way.  Snow gives you permission.  To remain mesmerized while looking out the window and forget about how much time has elapsed, to hide under the blanket with a good book, to drink hot chocolate (with three marshmallows).  Snow – silently, persistently commits you to a relationship with coziness, arguably a state that we don’t find enough excuses to enjoy.

The first snow.  It’s something I can commit to.

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Bounty

‘Make much of something small.

The pouring-out of tea,

a drying flower’s shadow on the wall

from last week’s bouquet.

A fact; it isn’t summer anymore.

Say that December sun

is pitiless, but crystalline

and strikes like a bell.

Say it plays colours like a glockenspiel.

It shows the dust as well,

the elemental sediment

your broom has missed,

and lights upon each grain of sugar spilled

upon the tablecloth, beside

pistachio shells, peel of a clementine.

Slippers and morning paper on the floor,

and wafts of heat from rumbling radiators,

can this be all?  No look – here comes the cat,

with one ear inside out.

Make much of something small.  — ‘Bounty’ by Robyn Sarah

I receive “The Writer’s Almanac” in my inbox each morning and today’s poem seemed so appropriate as so many enjoy the holidays of the season.  I wish you love and hope and laughter, really good hugs, friends and family to share in your delight (and the food – I heard a rumor that if you share it, the calories are also divided amongst all who partake).  I wish you time to marvel at the small moments that should never go unnoticed, for they hold truths far larger than we can imagine.  I hope you get some drool-y naps in there too, awakened by the sounds of quiet commiseration between loved ones.  And of course, I hope you receive all that you wish for, and wish for all that you have.

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