A new decade dawns, which makes this year more conspicuous than standard new years. With the passing of the old year and the last decade comes reflection, and that reflection has me thinking about life and legacy and what we choose to do with our short time here on earth.
In her poem Good Bones after lamenting on the shortness of life and the state of the world and the people therein, the poet Maggie Smith ends with this reflection:
“Any decent realtor, walking you through a real shithole, chirps on about good bones: This place could be beautiful, right? You could make this place beautiful.”
No doubt, you’ve heard me harp on “making the world a better place.” (I’ve mentioned it in some of my map posts.) It’s been a personal goal of mine for the last few years, and one I try to apply in everything I do. Sometimes those efforts are merely humble, and that’s okay. The key is to try—I might not always be successful, but at least I’m moving forward.
I’m carrying that mantra into 2020. This world is a rough place enough place, and it can often be terrible. But there are good bones here. So, I continue to persist. Throughout 2020 and beyond, I’ll do my part and work to make this place beautiful.
Happy New Year, folks. Happy New Decade.
“Only a night from old to new;
Only a sleep from night to morn.
The new is but the old come true;
Each sunrise sees a new year born”
—Helen Hunt Jackson, New Year’s Morning
Happy 2019. This year create something great with each sunrise.
“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
And next year’s words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning.”
— T. S. Eliot, Little Gidding from Four Quartets
Happy 2018. Go make your beginning.
An Egg McMuffin costs $2.79, a latte is about $3, going to a movie will set you back $15. Buying a hardcover book is $35, easy. This is the last week you are able to nab eBook copies of my first novel, The Stars Were Right for only 99¢! The sale ends on Saturday, January 7th. Start your new year with an adventure in the seedy warrens of Lovat. Links to purchase below.
The holiday season is nearly over, but if you’re interested in gifting a copy (which is a brilliant idea, I must say, you’re very smart), there are a few stores that make it really easy. I’d recommend consulting my post from earlier in December: Gifting the Bell Forging Cycle for the Holidays. It has details on how one can buy eBooks as gifts.
The late Gene Wilder quoted the first two lines of Arthur O’Shaughnessy’s poem Ode in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. Google happened to use that line in the audio for their Year In Search 2016 video (see below and bring a tissue.) Inspired, I decided to share the full poem. It’s fitting for the ending of a tumultuous year and anticipation that always builds with the beginning of the new.
✷ Ode ✷
We are the music-makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers,
And sitting by desolate streams;
World-losers and world-forsakers,
On whom the pale moon gleams:
Yet we are the movers and shakers
Of the world for ever, it seems.
With wonderful deathless ditties
We build up the world’s great cities,
And out of a fabulous story
We fashion an empire’s glory:
One man with a dream, at pleasure,
Shall go forth and conquer a crown;
And three with a new song’s measure
Can trample an empire down.
We, in the ages lying
In the buried past of the earth,
Built Nineveh with our sighing,
And Babel itself with our mirth;
And o’erthrew them with prophesying
To the old of the new world’s worth;
For each age is a dream that is dying,
Or one that is coming to birth.
And as promised, the video…
So here we are, one year ends and another begins. Keep loving. Keep fighting. Keep dreaming. And above all keep creating. The world needs your voice.
Have a safe and happy New Year.
It’s January 1st. The new year is finally upon us! Here’s wishing a fantastic upcoming year to you and yours. As I said at Christmas, thanks for all your support. I can’t wait to see what this fresh year brings, new travels, new books, new conventions… there’s a lot to look forward to in 2016.
For your enjoyment, here’s a postcard from the Victorian era featuring a potato wearing a hat and boots holding an umbrella and wishing everyone a Happy New Year. What a jaunty and thoughful fellow!
Now, if that didn’t quite satisfy your new year helping of strange, feel free to check out these other postcards. Featuring a picture of a cat with glasses in a bonnet, a floating dog head delivering greetings, or a bug using a telescope to look at the moon. You know, seasonally appropriate festive stuff.
The Victorians were a weird people.