We are fast approaching the end of things. That sounds ominous. It’s December 29, and Thursday we will awaken, albeit a few of us with aching heads, to discover that like a bright new shiny penny, the year has flipped to 2015.
This week is all about retrospectives, and I am finding them tiresome already. Turn on any cable news service and hear the refrains:
“Top ten natural disasters of the year, coming up next!”
“Who we lost this year in sports and entertainment!”
“Top five books of the year. Have you read them yet?”
Last year I realized that I was (as I always do) losing track of all these milestones during the year. I created a private blog just to jot down events as they took place so I would have them to turn to to “remember”. That lasted, ummmm, somewhere like a week, maybe less.
As I’ve pointed out at this time of year, nearly every year, I don’t do resolutions, finding them silly, self-defeating, and but another excuse for dragging out the old whip to flagellate my increasingly intolerant body.
So once again, I’m doomed to discover that people I really admired died, and I’d totally forgotten. And there were scientific discoveries that I had peripherally noticed and tucked away in some recess of my brain to which I’ve since lost the key.
About the only things I’ve remembered well are my own name and my address, though I often stop for a moment when asked my phone number or zip code.
Actually I remember a lot of political stuff, and that is probably not a good thing, since most everything that happened last year is eminently forgettable or should be. Given that I am a political satirist of sorts (god, that puts me up there with Jon Stewart, John Oliver, and Lenny Bruce, right?), it’s only natural that I should. Remember that crap, that is.
You may wonder why I think of myself as a political satirist, since this blog has taken a bit of a turn away from the day-to-day regurgitation of the crazy Reich-Right (use those Nazi references when you can). Because, even when I don’t technically refer to politics, I’m usually grousing about the people who make politics a living hell by their ignorant interference in things best left to adults with an education that goes beyond “how does a bill become a law.”
I say living hell in the sense that I do care that this country continues to swirl around on the event-horizon of a major black hole of doom. It hurts. And that engenders, as a defense, anger and yes even a modicum of hatred. Epictetus tells me that I ought not to become emotional about realities as such, but spend my energies doing effective things, but woe is me, it’s so much easier to complain.
A few friends tell me that they avoid politics because it is just too unsettling, and I do respect that. There is no fun in continually poking yourself in the eye with a stick in the hopes that someday, it either won’t hurt or magically you’ll get 20/20 vision for your efforts.
I must admit to a sick sense of fun in all of it too, and that undoubtedly is what drives me to continue. I’m sure a psychiatrist would have a field day in my head, but I do enjoy poking a stick (not in my eye) but through the bars at the caged idiots. For stupid people are caged whether they realize it or not. Caged by their lack of vision, lack of curiosity, and willingness to live a life of dreary ordinariness if only mas’r will give them the illusion of prosperity. Poke I will, with relish, because I enjoy the resultant explosion of racism, sexism, and all the other ism’s they exhibit when blood pressure overcomes what little common sense they possess. There is no knowledge to overcome since the very word suggests elitism to them and they regard education (except good-old fundamentalist claptrap as the work of the devil).
The point really is that a year makes no difference at all. For some this has been a hellish year, one they can hardly wait to escape and start out fresh again. This is balanced by just as many who have had a delightful rich and fruitful year and hope that next year just continues in the same vein. Neither is being objective of course, and no one says they should be. Each operates from a singularly personal experience, much as some men love blondes and others brunettes or as the song goes, “I like my women a little on the trashy side”. Some women love them some nerdis sorts, while some love SOA’s Jacks on his bike.
What’s new under the sun? (Oh I can go on with these all day folks).
Even though I don’t “do” resolutions, I do do intentions.
Intentions are much milder than resolutions as you can see. They are gentle and express a longing and desire, rather than some fiat imposed with an iron will that will be shown to be all too bereft of any undergirding at all.
So I have intentions.
- To write better. This is of course easy since I am the arbiter of success here. I determine what constitutes “better”. I can’t lose on this one.
- To read more. Again, I self-judge based on my recollection (no matter how faulty) of how much I have read in the past year. Philosophy is my focus this year.
- To continue toward the light, however I define it. There are many paths, and I intend to peek down as many as I’m able in the time yet allotted to me. All knowledge benefits so nothing is lost on the road more traveled as well as the less (eat your heart out Frost).
- To seek truth always. Truth untinged by desire and predisposition requires the constant overlay of critical thinking. We all fail much of the time. I desire to fail less often and about less important things.
- I seek to be more of what I am destined to be. Don’t we all?
I intend and that is a victory in itself.
Gosh, so many of you have enriched this year for me. I thank you all, whether you ever knew or not. I consider myself among the most luckiest of humans. I live with a man who continues to delight me with a freshness of spirit and wit, who challenges me in a million ways that keep me alive and vibrant while loving me unconditionally. I have the sweet softness of dogs who suffer my failings and limitations while offering a love which they neither understand nor question. I live in surroundings that delight and prick my curiosity and remind me that beauty comes in many forms. I have pursuits that challenge my intellect and patience, and occasionally stamina. I am blessed beyond measure, and have nothing whatsoever to deserve it.
I am humbled for there are those more worthy who have so much less.
It has been a year, and like all such artificial divisions, it has no real meaning beyond what we assign. After all, before us, what was time but a thing yet to be named? Or no thing at all.