Reviewing the old year, preparing for the new year...

… my priority for this first week of 2019.

Light in the early morning darkness, January 01, 2019

I read this poem on New Year’s Eve:

Burning the Old Year

Letters swallow themselves in seconds.   
Notes friends tied to the doorknob,   
transparent scarlet paper,
sizzle like moth wings,
marry the air.

So much of any year is flammable,   
lists of vegetables, partial poems.   
Orange swirling flame of days,  
so little is a stone.

Where there was something and suddenly isn’t,   
an absence shouts, celebrates, leaves a space.   
I begin again with the smallest numbers.

Quick dance, shuffle of losses and leaves,   
only the things I didn’t do   
crackle after the blazing dies.

~ NAOMI SHIHAB NYE

 

Since New Year’s Day, in my journal I have been doing writing exercises to discover which patterns of thinking, feeling, and doing need to be consumed by fire until no traces remain. To do so in a constructive way compels me to examine the past year honestly and dispassionately (“no drama” says Kim) so I can learn, move forward, keep what is “stone”, and fill the now empty spaces with better things.

It’s a process. I’m three days in. I continue to be amazed. Writing is a powerful force that takes me deep within, and then, draws out, clarifies, and elevates my thoughts. It is both good and necessary. It is neither easy nor quick. And so I will — I must — continue the practice.

Closing the Year with Light, Love, and Gratitude

My contribution to Kim Klassen’s invitation to (1) light a candle, (2) say a prayer, send a blessing, and (3) give thanks:

Many of my friends experienced loss or serious illness in 2018. I hold all of them in my heart this evening and pray they will have courage, strength, hope, and healing of hearts and bodies.

 

A Blessing

“On the day when
the weight deadens
on your shoulders
and you stumble,
may the clay dance
to balance you.
And when your eyes
freeze behind
the grey window
and the ghost of loss
gets in to you,
may a flock of colours,
indigo, red, green,
and azure blue
come to awaken in you
a meadow of delight.

When the canvas frays
in the currach of thought
and a stain of ocean
blackens beneath you,
may there come across the waters
a path of yellow moonlight
to bring you safely home.

May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
may the clarity of light be yours,
may the fluency of the ocean be yours,
may the protection of the ancestors be yours.
And so may a slow
wind work these words
of love around you,
an invisible cloak
to mind your life.” 

― John O'Donohue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom

I am deeply grateful for all the enduring friendships in my life.

Christmas Day Memory

All was calm,
after a 180 degree (and somewhat perilous) turn
the night before.

On Christmas Day,
I was in a familiar, but unexpected place:
my own home.

Thank you, dear friends, Christine & Shanti,
for your generous, thoughtful hospitality,
and giving me warmth, comfort, joy and a delicious meal.

Good creatures on the windowsill, December 25th, 2018.