I'm listening to Little May's "Boardwalks" for, oh, the 20th time in a row...
... and entering hibernation again, that end-of-year phase of mind: reflecting on all that's happened and setting an intention for the year ahead. Maybe its just me and my Scorpion nature but I need a deliberate, contemplative space around this time to put things into perspective before the year ahead can shimmer with promise.
How to go about this? By reading. Or baking stuff. Or visiting quiet, cold cities (this year it will be Philly and DC). By going back to Woodstock, NY to hang with my oldest friends (some who also "come home" and some who never left). We'll revisit the places that defined our lives, or at least our teenage years: diners where we ate breakfast after dancing at "all age" clubs that would make us gag today; grocery stores where we made minimum wage and flirted with the college guys who worked in produce; coffee shops and pizza places where we were bound to run into at least five people we knew at any given time; and indie movie theaters where we kissed boys our own age and felt a part of something bigger. While going home doesn't make me feel fourteen again it does remind me of who I've always been. That's not always easy, but it feels important.
"Cause' we are not afraid of who we are but of what we have become, And we are not afraid of what's to be when this road has just begun, So we will turn our backs and close the doors for the last time,
Give me back what's mine."
2013 was a tough year for many of us. Crazy shit happened. For all the times I gave freely they were occasions when I wanted to take something back- my time, my work, my city. The "doing" of life can callus our hands and leave dirt in the scratches (said another way: shit is hard and disappointment not easily forgotten). Life happens and there is darkness and there is light.
When It gets messy, and It definitely will if we're doing anything worth doing, sometimes all that's left is to strip everything away, plunge into the darkness, and search around for something to grab on to. Something meaningful. We might misstep or we might find something important. Trying, creating, and feeling are acts of risk we take everyday and when I look back at the year a tangled pile of stuff that could have gone better sits in the shadow of a big, dark, winter moonlit mountain that looks like hope.
Cheers to you, to being in the dark together, and to the New Year.