Advertisement

Beginner's Heart

Beginner's Heart

Happy New Year! (and a clean slate to you ~)

I love clean slates. I love a morning which is unencumbered by the mistakes of yesterday, and the day before, and the day before that. The idea that it all begins now, today, this very moment… It’s intoxicating.

Just the frame of it — today is clean ~ no baggage ~ the first day of this new year ~ makes watching the bluejay drinking from the bird bath, his head thrown back and the water visibly sliding down his creamy blue throat, a kind of miracle. The goldfinches who didn’t migrate, the hawk sitting in the pecan tree just beside the deck — each is a line in the poem of a new beginning.

Perhaps that’s the allure of an after-life, reincarnation, rebirth. The idea that somehow we can make it all right: iron out the crinkles of our lives, patch the torn places of the fragile paper on which we write our daily words and actions. One of the things I love about  Buddhism is the idea that we don’t ignore  our pain — we walk into it knowingly and live within it until it passes. And it works. In truth, everything passes.

I still write resolutions. Promises to the future, despite my love of the present. Today I’ll make a list in the new journal I have ready, setting aside the stuffed Moleskine of the past 5+ months. I’ll begin to collect new ephemera ~ new poems printed out from various sources, photos of family and friends, tickets to special events. I’ll paste in the weather for another trip, a cartoon, even a sprig of weed w/ perfect seed heads.

My resolutions are ephemera, often. Over the years I’ve learned to make fewer, trying harder to keep them. But like my three-inch-thick journal, they’re more reflective of the actual than the imagined :). My intentions are (always :)) good: I will draw more, do more drafts of work in my journal, make it more reflective of my ‘better’ self. But what I (always) seem to end up with is the daily  me ~ a quotidian calendar. Quick-writes in class with students, to-do lists, a quirky on-line horoscope printed for its totally inappropriate fortune.
So here are this year’s resolutions, no less the sincere for the knowledge that they too will pass:

  1.  I will listen more (I’m not promising to talk less…).
  2. I will be more active — both physically and in an engaged Buddhist fashion.
  3. I’ll tackle something hard: a language?  the anthropology of indigenous peoples? my bicycle? Maybe I’ll learn NOT to  fall off in traffic!
  4. I’ll work at my health — all aspects of it.
  5. I’ll practice being more compassionate (instead of blowing up at injustice, I’ll try to come up with real solutions).
  6. I’ll work more diligently — and more often — at my own writing.
  7. And finally? I’ll get outside more — it helps with ALL of the above.

This year, think of your life as a journal, and your resolutions as the ephemera you paste, staple and stitch into its pages. Use a lot of colour. Brass brads and a hole punch. Maybe even glitter! Fill the pages so the back almost cracks :). January 1st of next year? You’ll have your own thick journal of happy days.

Happy New Year!

Previous Posts

the Zen of whatever
I love to cook. At least most of the time. And when I'm happiest doing it -- making something I like to eat, w/out a deadline or people I worry won't like it -- cooking feels much like meditation. So does garde

posted 7:09:03pm Mar. 30, 2015 | read full post »

spring, and the promise of a fresh start
Today when I filled bird feeders, I looked out over the yard. Everywhere there's the flush of rose & pink, and the backdrop of pale green that only comes in spring. Once I had the sunflower tr

posted 12:33:52pm Mar. 29, 2015 | read full post »

the Beatitudes, Buddhism, and living a good life
A discussion on my FB page began w/ my heartfelt anger at recent attempts (many successful) to discriminate against gay & trangender men & women. An old friend & former colleague pointed out that mo

posted 2:02:19pm Mar. 27, 2015 | read full post »

pets vs kids, and what we spend our money on...
My dogs are pretty indulged. Even (dare I confess?) spoiled. They have soft little beds in their kennels, fleecy things I wash regularly, and replace when the dogs chew holes in them. There is an American-made br

posted 3:56:31pm Mar. 26, 2015 | read full post »

the family you have, the family you choose
I am very lucky: I have a relatively large network of family. Three sisters, a brother-in-law who's great, lots of nieces & nephews, even two aunts still living. I also have a large family-of-the-heart: BF

posted 5:27:10pm Mar. 24, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.