Saturday, December 29, 2012

2012, I think that you were at least three years worth of year.

We started you off with just so much loss, losing babies and family and marriages, losing dignity and grace and a helping of our faith in the universe. I have always had trouble dealing with the size of the universe, with the idea that everything in it is connected and related, and this is partly why. That is a heavy burden of sadness to bear, and the responsibility for many things that are out of our hands. In any case, at the beginning of you most of what we though we had built so beautifully tumbled down around our ears, and we spent a long time bewildered and lost.

So we set everything on fire and careened around the world waiting to see what would emerge from the flames, which flowers are the quickest to bloom. This was a big travel year for me, made mostly of places I've never been before. I went to Iceland and looked down into the cracks in the earth and to Victoria for tea and romance. I turned 30 in Paris, surrounded by friends, fulfilling a promise made to my much younger self. I went back to North Carolina to watch my baby brother graduate, out on a sailboat and over to the fair. I did a mentionable amount of park sitting and whiskey tasting and giraffe feeding, and ate more delicious food than is prudent for one very small girl.

We lost a lot this year, but maybe in the end we gained just a little bit more. In any case there are always the constants, the love and laughing and champagne, books and dance parties and adventures. In February I went to see Dave Isay talk about the latest Storycorp book. Some of the stories he read, but for a few minutes he played the recordings from the Storycorp booth. We all bowed our heads to listen, the whole auditorium of strangers drawn close for a moment by these tales of love found and then lost and lost and then found. We stumbled out later, a little shaken, changed in some way. Sad, and somehow better people than we were when we walked in. If you have taught me anything, 2012, it is that we may never run out of new ways to feel the iron in our bones but that we will also never stop surprising ourselves with how close we are to the divine heart of ourselves. That life often is both cruel and generous and that, as Steinbeck says, nothing good gets away.


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