Moving slowly out of the dark night of the soul where we dig deep into the muck of ourselves during that slow cruel slog to the first day of winter, I am, as Lou Reed said, beginning to see the light.
Winter may have just begun, but the days will grow longer and the angle of the sun less obtuse as the natural time for hibernation rescinds its mandate. The New Year will be a time for putting into motion the truths revealed in the sleepy dark days where the soul goes hunting for fresh meat. My soul came through with bloodied fangs, nasty breath, and a more voracious appetite for the kill than ever before. I think I finally figured out what I want to be when I grow up, at least for the moment. And yes, I see my soul as a sort of predatory animal, hunting and devouring, biting its own tail sometimes in ouroboros wisdom and sometimes in desperate hunger because the world has nothing juicy enough to feed it.
Gardening’s taught me to respect the natural cycles that take place every year, and to learn from each one. Sometimes the same lesson is learned over and over, and that’s good and useful. Many people seem doomed to forever repeat their history. I respect even the smallest bit of change or growth in others. But I demand enlightenment of myself.
So obviously, enlightenment hasn’t happened, and in fact never will happen because ideals are imaginary poofs of smoke that vanish when we grab them – but knowing, now that is attainable.
My New Year’s resolution is to let myself fall in love with my path.
During the past year I spent energy, time, and money on trying to make changes that I thought were The Smart Thing To Do. These were practical useful endeavors. They made logical sense. They didn’t conflict with my ethics, and might have increased my prestige and income. If I had succeeded, I might have more free time and less stress. But I didn’t succeed. I failed.
Coupled with abject failure was the death of my mother and my cat. I’m at the age where these things are going to keep happening more and more, the age when funerals start outnumbering weddings and baby showers. And although I am happily child-free by choice, words like “barren” and “childless” began seeping up in my mind. I spent a big chunk of last year feeling jealous of my breeder friends with their easy answer to all of life’s problems. What a lovely crutch, to answer disillusionment and uncertainty with the rock-hard fact that you love your kids and must protect them and teach them. It must really get you moving in the morning; that, plus all the crying and screaming.
Easy answers, obvious answers: they are everywhere. They plague the human heart and drain its blood drop by well-meaning drop, a virus of good intentions.
My New Year’s resolution is to nod politely and ignore advice, and secretly feed the beast.
Failure this year has been my greatest success. It’s left me empty, without a goal. This is the perfect place to be right now. I can start a new project, jump off a new cliff, fly for a minute or two before the anvil makes me into a pancake. Maybe my New Year’s resolution should be to fail as miserably as possible at every single thing I do, to constantly empty myself of expectation, to walk on ground that is always groundless. The beast starts waking and stirring in those moments of emptiness. My best writing, drawing, gardening, and fucking happen in those moments.
My New Year’s resolution is to ride the beast wherever she leads.