I told myself I’d be writing a personal ‘Year in Review’ today – only I kept dodging the legwork. There’s something both disturbing and callous about trying to distill twelve months into a neat list of ‘obstacles mounted, addresses lived in, loves, losses, purchases….’ It’s like I’m trying to generate a single number by algorithmic magic. And the number doesn’t mean anything. Let’s say this year was ….-MATH-…..a 28.45. Or this year was four score, it was purple, it was adjectives, it was so long and so short and so wacky, so sane.
But do I FEEL different now, in a cosmic way? I mean since last January? In the sense that I can’t possibly return to the mind country of being twenty-one and certain events have transpired which have rocked my whole worldview houseboat? I try harder: okay, my hair’s a bit longer. It’s kinkier at the roots. Since January I have read many books so maybe my brain is fatter. I’ve also made a whole collection of mistakes that have yet to tell me if they’re fatal or just forgettable. In the world at large, people have died in terrible and meaningless ways. The President has…well the President’s the very same, actually, NVM.(!) And perhaps because it’s the day post- the-world-being-supposed-to-end and this is how a Year in Review kind of goes, I’m suddenly awake to the things I have to do from here. I have so much more time than twelve months. And plans. And even if I don’t, there’s no way to proceed unless I believe in at least that. So with my time, what will I do Rhett? Where will I go in the next dozen lunar cycles?
Readership: it’s a bar here (Kingston Hall) and the author looks to extract the profound from what might be just too pedestrian to complicate. In twelve months, I’ve been more in New York, I’ve confused lust for something else, I’ve worked hard and not hard enough, I’ve danced with a million potential careers and maybe twenty-six dudes and some friends, I’ve been exhilarated and shy and dumb and wise and it isn’t done yet, I’ve actually purchased some more time on the planet with my faith, therefore bully for you me and everyone we know. Just ruminating into this perfect perfect Manhattan. Swilling the whole shebang around the glass, with the cherry.
Some of us Adelpheans are working on a play these days about the power and value of memory – whether or not there’s a real purpose/something to be gained by the constant and muscular reflective act. As a result I’ve been spending oodles of time in this very contemplative state, wondering about the real POINT of personal reflection. When we try to make these lists and take this stock, where do we land?
In the play at least, it’s become apparent that memory should be your sail and not your anchor. So…I’m not going to really make a Year in Review, or spend the rest of the year toiling over resolutions that are just so much guilt-infused self-flagellation. I’m not going to make you a playlist or a photo collage because….a January ought to be a reminder that thanks only to Gregorian monks and the planetary orbit, we’ve got a page turn. Not a restart button and scarcely an ending, but a fresh new piece of paper. At the end of the world and new years parties you attend, swim in the book not being over. And we can’t erase the beginning, but from here we can change how we’re sitting in the picture window. And we can get up and get a glass of water and stretch our limbs. I’m going to take a bus to Maryland very early Monday morning and then I’m going hang out with my whole extended family and eat a lot and take a break from New York and all its packaging, meanwhile holding on to my favorite and simplest holiday message: No man is a failure who has friends. (Read: thanks to the moon and back, Adelpheans, for all the adventures of 2012)
AND JUST IN CASE, A HEADY HAMFISTED RAMBLE-ON RESOLUTION, THE IMPRECISE LIKES OF WHICH YOU WILL NOT SEE FROM ME IN 2013 NO SIRREE:
and purge brain of all unedited tripe, send murky missives into space, finish this Manhattan then pack up and contemplate the next few moves, be sure to take breaths in between all this during which to ruminate on the supposed stack of ‘knowledge’ 525,600 minutes has let you acquire, and when the party’s over and the sun rises stop wasting your time reading and writing crap on the internet and pondering whiskey before the sun sets, and whatever it means to you, after taking that crucial break and counting certain stars-
Seeya next year!