It's New Year's Eve Eve, 2008.
I can't believe it's almost been a year.
I suppose you could really say, after midnight, that it technically has been a year. After all, we did have 29 days in February.
But February seems like a lifetime ago for me, and for all intents and purposes, it is.
I mean, last winter, I spent practically the whole time doing things that were the opposite of what I had done all my life. I gave up the activities that had defined me as a person since I started to become something more than an inquisitive adolescent. And I went through a series of life changing events that would test my mettle and put me up against the ropes like it never had before. I had no choice in the matter--certainly in hindsight--and I came through it in one piece--scratched up, knocked around, and a bit confused, but one piece nonetheless.
I know plenty of people who never got that chance.
I certainly could have been one of them.
But, for whatever reason, I was spared an early and unfortunate demise, and was subsequently able to learn a bit about myself and understand better why it seems that I was put on this earth.
And that's not to say I have any concrete answers here. All I'm saying is that now I can at least follow one thought to completion rather than following it to the point where I make the decision to celebrate before the act for which I am celebrating is accomplished.
It's the little things, I swear.
This year was full of majestic revelations and sublime acknowledgements of events happening all around me almost on a minute to minute basis. It included an increasing and surprisingly consistent attention to detail which--when balanced with a sense of purpose and the right amount of caffeine--could shine enough light on the near future to let me forget how lost I undoubtedly was in the very recent past.
Sometimes a flashlight doesn't need new batteries as much as a good whack on a hard surface. Just try not to break the bulb in the process.
I lost one of the last members of my immediate family, but, before leaving, and before even having a clue that there was reason to panic, developed a stronger bond with her over a few months than we had managed to scape together over 37 years.
There was only one reason for this: I was doing everything as right as I could.
I found the perfect place to incubate my future plans. I filled it with pieces and places to rest my body and memories on made with both new trees cut in exciting and elegant angles, as well as family heirlooms made in traditional shapes from ancient, sleepy, lacquered, heavy hardwood.
My house makes noises much like my body. It wheezes and clanks. It moans and it gurgles. It ticks and it tocks. It creaks and it hums. And it seems for the time being to be of sound design and function. Only time will tell what appendage or utility will need to be attended to first. Nothing is made to last forever, but if we take care of what is most important when we can, and before we need to in many cases, then when something does go wrong we can rest assured that it is not through negligence or impropriety that we find we must make take preventative or reconstructive action.
Just look around, compliment the walls, keep the branches off the roof, sweep the leaves away from the foundation, vacuum the floors once a week ...
... and listen to your heart.
It can speak more languages than you could ever learn if you had all the time there is.
Thanks for reading.