Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Rulin's for New Years

Depending on your definitions, the morning around here has been full of snow showers or flurries. I'm not sure what kind of clouds we're under and there's been fundamentally no accumulation = flurries, I guess. For most of my adult life, the week between Christmas and New Years has been a quiet time, a time to reflect on the year ending and contemplate the year upcoming.

I recall Woody Guthrie had a list of New Years Rulin's [transcription]. It's a great list to begin with.

Woody's Rulin's

Looking through it leads me to two conclusions. First, Concentrate on Fundamentals. Second, see, and appreciate, what's really there. In other words, for the next four years it will undoubtedly be wise to emphasize the basics of life, including having fun. For me that will include family, dogs, fly-fishing, rivers, writing, photography, reading and baking. Each of these will no doubt trigger added activities, for example, photography and/or fly-fishing will lead to travel and include rivers. It seems to me that time has come to look not so much at what we're doing but at the relationships supported by our activities. In particular, as a screening tool, I'm going to look toward achieving what I want much more than opposing what I don't want. I haven't the time or energy to stop everything I oppose. I can do a lot more to support what I want, but that means first I need to sort outwit it is I think I want. I think I'm making some progress on that and my own version of New Year's Rulin's. How about you? Don't forget to be careful what you wish for 'cuz you may get it. Right, Mr. Trump?

Burning the Old Year


By Naomi Shihab Nye


Letters swallow themselves in seconds.   
Notes friends tied to the doorknob,   
transparent scarlet paper,
sizzle like moth wings,
marry the air.

So much of any year is flammable,   
lists of vegetables, partial poems.   
Orange swirling flame of days,   
so little is a stone.

Where there was something and suddenly isn’t,   
an absence shouts, celebrates, leaves a space.   
I begin again with the smallest numbers.

Quick dance, shuffle of losses and leaves,   
only the things I didn’t do   
crackle after the blazing dies. 


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