31 December 2009

When the year starts to gather her things and puts on her coat and scarf, readying herself to leave us, most of us can’t help but get introspective. 

I’ve been enjoying reading my favourite bloggers’ thoughts about this year and other years and my facebook page is covered with wishes and blessings from family and friends around the globe.  Some look ahead; some look behind.  Some of us make resolutions; some of us eschew them.  Some of us look upon the old year with pleasure and fondness; others are snapping at her: “don’t slam the door on your way out!” 

Whatever we do, I can say with all certainty – this time is not for regrets.  Send them packing with the old year.  Write them down and ceremoniously burn them.   Close your eyes and watch them fly off in a red balloon. 

Now is the time to open up to dreams.  And the only way to approach any dream is to start walking toward it, one step at a time. 

I’m looking forward to walking with you in 2010. 

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light;
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.
Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.
Ring out the grief that saps the mind,
For those that here we see no more,
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.
Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.
Ring out the want, the care, the sin,
The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out thy mournful rhymes,
But ring the fuller minstrel in.
Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.
Ring out old shapes of foul disease,
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.
Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.

~Alfred, Lord Tennyson  


This new year’s eve I sequester in. 

That’s nothing new.  I’ve never liked the big whoop it up party scene, kissing people I barely know because it’s ‘tradition’ and the collective countdown to the dropping of the ball. Celebrating the ‘moment.’ What moment?  What now?  Pondering that was never something I felt I needed to do while mingling amongst revellers.  Oh I’m still a party girl – but that particular ‘moment’ has always felt awkward when experienced in a crowd. Dinner with close friends and/or family – now that’s a way to usher in a new year.

But this year I sequester in.  I consciously approach a private new year’s celebration this year.  I don’t have any great thoughts to think, any great plans to make; I just want to enjoy this gift to myself. I make soup. In my bathrobe. I watch Fred Astaire.  I open champagne at eleven.

In the morning I awake with a contented heart.  I sleep in a little, then, headachy for doing so, make coffee.  I spend much of the day in the same bathrobe, feeling ‘nesty’ and cutting out pictures for a collage, re-potting plants and washing the kitchen floor.

The ‘nesty’ thing is odd.  It’s not unusual for January, I think lots of people experience it, especially in this wintery country.  I used to thrive on my own ‘nestiness.’  But I’ve been without a home to nest in for almost five years now.  Oh I’ve had nice places to live in, in nice neighbourhoods; but I mean a home in my heart. In the five places I’ve lived in since leaving Windsor, I’ve never completely unpacked, never truly set up a bedroom or a kitchen.  I thought this place would be the one, but it’s not. Half my things are still with my girls a year after I left them.

Don’t go thinking that’s a tragic thing, because the minute I stopped thinking of it as tragic, it stopped being so.  Home will come to me when it’s good and ready.  In the meantime I’ll continue to impose belongings on my daughters and not organize my bookshelves in any pleasing or logical way and my closets will remain a haphazard mess of summer and winter and half full suitcases.

With the turnover of this new year I am grateful that I am really, really moving past a perplexingly difficult four and a half years.  For the first time in a long time, I can sit alone in my kitchen and feel comfort in things like my dishes, cast iron pot and wooden table.  I move through the rooms today feeling restful.  Restful and ready for the adventures the universe will bring in 2009.


The other day I wrote about my recent focus on dolls, and how serendipitous events keep happening that seemingly lay out a path to create.  A few days ago I encountered the blog and website of a doll artist and expressive arts practitioner.  She offers online workshops and based on the work I’ve seen, and her writings, I thought her workshops seemed a great value for anyone who might stick her/his toe in the proverbial waters of expressive arts.  Today the artist writes to me and tells me I’ve won a draw for a free spot in one of her workshops because I posted a link to her website on mine.

Given my new year’s resolutions – to be kinder and gentler with myself, and to commit time to creative pursuits – I would say this is yet another wonderful coincidence.

As 2009 unfolds, I’ll just keep riding the waves.  And I think a lace curtain for the kitchen window would be nice.