In exactly twelve hours from now my grandfather’s big wooden grandfather clock will fill the house with twelve triumphant rings. It freaks me out. This loud acknowledgement of the passing of time. Like a warning that yet another hour has passed. And another. And another. And with such lyrical pizzazz. I imagine a little old man inside the timepiece, his patent leather heels delicately balanced on the wheels of time, decked in a top hat, forked coat tails and conductor’s wand waving it this a way and that a way, urging his orchestra on to make it count….make it count….play like this will be the last time you will ever play…..infuse the humans listening with a sense of urgency to stop sitting around, grab life and figure it out dammit…but make sure it is beautiful.
So much pressure!
And so another year will pass. I really despise new year’s eve. The pressure to have an extraordinary night full of fun. If you don’t have fun you will have failed at New Year’s Eve. And at the year. It’s never fun. It is sloppy and anti-climactic and I spend most of the time waiting for the fun to appear, and then getting stressed out that the fun hasn’t found me, and thus I must go out and find it. That never ends well. And so it the expectant excitement gradually dissolves into a fizzled resignation. Another year gone.
Did it count? Have you figured life out yet?
For the last few years, I have been celebrating the first day of the year. Tomorrow I will wake up fresh eyed, bushy tailed and I will go for a walk in the forest and watch the butterflies skip around me, listen to old trees whispering dirty jokes, feel the fresh air tease out the pink in my cheeks, and feel alive. Because that is what counts. Not the list of accomplishments I can tick off. Or the mounting figures in my bank account. Or the skinnier and blingier my gadgets get. But the sublime release that comes with an exhale. The smile that tugs your eyelids shut in a moment of pleasure. The infinite possibility that fills your body when you inhale. The puzzling questions that pop up. (Where did all the lady birds go? And do birds get wet when it rains?) The being alive. And healthy. The agency of living life not to the tune of a clock chiming or the midnight ball dropping, but as you please. Rolling with the waves. Being carried by the breeze. Without the need to have it all figured out.
I started out this post trying to record my year. I have a terrible memory. Almost no childhood recollection. In fact I am convinced I have a little brain goblin that greedily gobbles up everything that happens to me and spits it out into a mush of grey nostalgia. It has been an incredible year for me. A year that I started off unemployed, burnt out and with no idea what on earth I was going to do with myself. Along the way, without me realizing, wonderful things happened. I thought I would capture them all here in this post. The truth of the matter is that they don’t deserve to be squashed all together, so over the next few days I will take my time, languorously trace them out, season them delicately, allow them sizzle and ripen and then release them into the world. So that the gluttonous brain goblin doesn’t get to them. So that I can look back and remember in technicolor the year that was 2014.
I think back to the grandfather clock. To the composer of the tune that marks the passing of time. For 2015 I ask him to create me a tune oozing with gratitude for a life well lived. On my terms. A tune that stills instead of alarms. A tune that makes me skip instead of dash. A tune that inspires me look out of the window to watch as the branches sway with the wind. Instead of snapping under the pressure. A tune that will inspire the conductor’s orchestra to play as if their sounds will be the last thing the soul hears as it escapes the body. A tune that fills me with certainty that every moment is as it should be. Just as it is. No more. No less.
May your 2015 be full of mischief.