Wednesday, January 4, 2017

A World in White Gets Underway

Considering how much change happened during the calendar year 2016 (and the diversity of reaction (and gracelessness) we had to so much of it), the weather as we went from the past to the present was better than okay in my book (not that I'm much of a reader; I wear glasses in case another Cabinet position opens up). 

Between Saturday (old year, boo!) and Sunday (new year, yay!) it got pretty close to 45 F and quite a bit of blue skies (more so on Sunday), neither of which will ever be confused with Spring, but for this time of year around here it wasn't too bad. 

I am foolish to hope our meteorological luck holds through spring into summer, knowing I'll be disappointed but I will hope anyway. In any event, I'll remember those blue skies when the days darken as I know they will when the serious weeks of winter arrive, as they surely shall.  

I used the weather to walk around and about on both days and concluded it's not the best time of year to be a Christmas tree as I saw more than a few, some still with wisps of garland, kicked to the curb in the literal sense. I'm not sure when the discarded tree pick-up is, but as a child who believed in Christmas with all his heart (until sometime last year), I'll bet it's a sad day when it gets here. 

Do the holidays which once had clear demarcations now just seem to rush by us in an indistinct blur that spans from shortly after Hallowe'en to right about now? I'm showing my age, I know, and my 'best use by' date wasn't helped by the arrival of the new year but I keep coming back to those discarded trees and how quickly we turn the page on all stories of which we've tired. 

We had the phrase "fair-weather friends" long before we had fair weather and none of us need to google it to know we're not being paid a compliment if someone labels us as such. The speed of our technology, always at our fingertips with the latest news, often at the expense of accuracy, feeds our appetite for the new and now sometimes at the expense of the tried and true. 

If our feelings and beliefs on matters great and small change with the time of the day chasing the 'trending' issue du jour, we didn't really have beliefs at all, but, rather, costumes. And instead of being able to see how various events and circumstances are woven into a cloth of cause and effect, we develop the same sense of history a cat has with each isolated incident having little to do with the next and even less to so with us.

When I was a young romantic, I could look at the start of a year with rosy-eyed optimism. Now, more jaundiced if not clear-eyed (and empty-headed), I look out on these first days of our new year and can already feel perhaps more than see the gap between the promise and the performance at every level-personal, professional and political. I think I even got them in the correct order, for me at least. Your mileage may vary.

Did you make resolutions? And have you already broken one or more of them? I don't think the Guinness Records people keep track so you can safely claim whatever you wish and however you will. Of course, escaping your own judgment will be harder to do since you know best your own tricks and traps.

Because of what I know, and perhaps despite it, I have hopes, not resolutions. I hope this year to be a better person to people I've known already in my life and to whom I have been less than kind. Unless they're a$$holes, in which case, no deal (I threw that just in case someone who has taken advantage of me thought I was going soft in my dotage and wanted another bite at the apple). I'd also hope I'm not going to allow the past to color the future and recognize I cannot be forgiven for sins I've not yet committed.

This is the New Year we waited on and waited for. We can go anywhere and do anything. We just have to decide to be and to do. Let's go.
-bill kenny

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