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. Continue Reading This Post »