Living in Frames, by meshing the lyrical moments of life with the captured images of experience. This is a reverie, a journey, the fork in the road, and the never-ending story....

Sunday, January 1, 2017

What a New Year looks like from a different vantage point...

Last night, I rang in the New Year in the air. As I marveled over the mosaic patterns of colored lights and fireworks winking back at me from below, I couldn’t help thinking how cool it was to take off in another country in 2016, and land back in my home country in 2017. Simply put, it was kind of magical counting down the year with strangers, and family, and an entire Boston-based flight crew. It gave new meaning to the notion of suspended time; especially when earlier that evening in a custom’s line, a man in front of me, made the comment that where he had come from earlier that day, a new year had already begun.

I had many other thoughts on that plane ride home, which I probably should have written down on my little drink napkin, but I was too caught up in the moment to care. As I held my partner’s hand and we watched drops of rain fly past us at warp speed, I drifted in and out of that dreamy place I fall into when I feel those feelings of utter contentedness mixed with excitement for the future.  If I could be in multiple places at once, there I was, taking it all in.

I can’t begin to explain how grateful I am each and every day. So, to think about the year in its entirety and try and summarize it, seems inadequate. (Writing out the Cliff notes of any human experience, would involve taking out any unique and defining characteristics and replacing those one-of-a-kind, cumulative moments with a slew of generic adjectives… like anyone’s whole year could fit into a social media post, Come’on! “If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands…”)   

There has just been so much growth inside a short amount a time, I feel silly that I ever have moments of evolutionary self-doubt. But I guess that’s what celebrating a New Year is all about—not necessarily taking inventory of what I didn’t get to or accomplish, but to take a good, hard look at what I’m about. The next step, I admittedly still need to learn, which is accepting that not everything to come will go the way I hope or plan.

I don’t know about you, but I remember hearing the saying, “A little wishful thinking never hurt anyone,” and actually took it to heart. It’s only taken me 34 years to re-imagine that expression for myself. My new mantras, being: open-mindedness and flexibility are the keys to deflecting disappointment. And: You’ve got to have a little grit, to keep things interesting.

Settling in back home is always nice. Not so much, sticking that grounding rod back in reality.  But it sure is easy falling back into routines: grocery shopping, laundry, work prep, dinner prep, “the comforts of home”… I recognize this is as part of life, but I know it doesn’t have to be the only part of the picture—that there is room enough for my own wild dreams, as well as having another person at my side. And whims! Big or small, you can’t forget the important role whims play in gaining perspective. Throw some change into a stranger’s hat, drive an unmarked road, eat something you’ve never tried before, get swept away by your passions.

I am not certain about much, but this year in particular has made me really appreciate taking on life’s whims, curve balls, forks-in-the-road, and the day-to-day with my partner. So, putting any doubts at bay, I truly believe 2017 is going to be a different kind of special.

Saying It

Saying it. Trying
to say it. Not
to answer to

logic, but leaving
our very lives open
to how we have

to hear ourselves
say what we mean.
Not merely to

know, all told,
our far neighbors;
or here, beside

us now, the stranger
we sleep next to.
Not to get it said

and be done, but to
say the feeling, its
present shape, to

let words lend it
dimension: to name
the pain to confirm

how it may be borne:
through what in
ourselves we dream

to give voice to,
to find some word for
how we bear our lives.

Daily, as we are daily
wed, we say the world
is a wedding for which,

as we are constantly
finding, the ceremony
has not yet been found.

What wine? What bread?
What language sung?
We wake, at night, to

imagine, and again wake
at dawn to begin: to let
the intervals speak

for themselves, to
listen to how they
feel, to give pause

to what we’re about:
to relate ourselves,
over and over; in

time beyond time
to speak some measure
of how we hear the music:

today if ever to
say the joy of trying
to say the joy.

“Saying It," from Lifelines by Philip Booth, copyright © 1999 by Philip Booth.

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