I hope this finds you well, happy, and at the end of a holiday season that brought joy, fun, and love. One of my favorite times of year is New Years. It’s more relaxed, peaceful and time for perspective, reflection, and a creative look ahead. As in all my travels, planning is one of the most enjoyable, exciting, and rewarding aspects of this trip into a new year. The last is past and if you’re not focused on your backside, there is a mysterious door open up ahead.
Unlike many holiday of the past 10 years, I had little angst about changes due to loss. Work was challenging this year and ended with some intense revision of a 5-year plan for the organization’s website. A plan that in its 4th major version struck the creative consciousness of our leadership. Built around audacious and original problem solving, it has alternately scared and thrilled me. And it was accepted with kudos. The aftermath has been very much like finishing my dissertation and doctorate on the express plan–unimaginably empowering. In a holiday season when I worked long hours and weekends to finish this before Christmas, I was more focused and productive than any Christmas since I arrived in Cincinnati.
I had “chicks” in my henhouse this holiday, too. Having family here establishes history in this place and this house. Annie Grey Kitty spent her second holiday as part of the family. This year her former patron, Phyllis is part if the growing Mt. Muchmore family. The season festivities began in early November when I brought Thanksgiving to Wisconsin. In early December, I hosted the branch staff party for the fifth time. On the 20th, I held the third Mt Muchmore Caroling Party and the 21st Philip and Jessica arrived and stayed through the 26th.
With all the entertaining, I expected a steep slip into vegetation when the kids left. Just the opposite happened. I have been purging, creating, and enjoying a week of focus including some pencil sketching from my studio window.
I thought about going to see a movie on NYE, but ended up eating meatloaf carry out and some leftover Moscato in my PJs and watching a movie online. At 10pm I turned in, but soon returned to the basket if 17 journals from the last
18 years looking for poetry I’ve written over the years. I stayed up until 2pm laughing, crying, and generally amazed at what I’d forgotten. Stories about the boys, loss, triumph and a surprising chronicle of creative process and ideas. More stories fleshed out for books and memoirs. 33 poems. Some I did not remember writing. Some still in the rough. Others quite polished and eloquent. A good way to end a year and begin another. Grateful for rich experiences both good and bad. These have given depth to life, gravity to gratitude, meaning to expression.
I wish you a new year filled with the courage to walk through that open door and never look behind. Bonne sante et voyages creatifs.