Morning and Evening

Digital illustration: Happy New Year

Year In, Year Out

The year begins with ice and fire at dawn

As January draws the curtain high,

Revealing what is written on the sky

To turn our vision forward and move on—

Into the year ahead, awake, renewed,

To see what can be done, what holds the key

That everything required of you and me

Will help fulfill the prophecy we viewed—

Move us with hope and joy through dark and light,

Through time that tests us as it passes by

Until we see another evening sky

Leading the way to that December night—

When once again we’ll come to gather here

And mark the changing to another year.

Digital illustration: Happy New Year Again

Tell Me Not What Lies Ahead

digital illustration from a photoEven if I could I would rather not see the future. If it’s not to my liking, then I’ll despair and give up all attempts to improve upon it; if appealing, it will tempt me to live in constant yearning and not invest my heart and hands in my own present.

That doesn’t stop me from persistently trying to scry any hints of what’s to come in whatever handy crystal ball I can conjure. We’re curious creatures, we humans, and impatient at that. I wish and want and hope and dream, along with all of my fellow mortals, thinking that if I just knew what lay around the next bend of the road, surely I would be content, or at least if not content then prepared. But few who have access to dates and deadlines, foresight and certainties actually prepare in full, and once the approaching events are known they so often become the sole focus of the journey, not a point along the way, in fact distracting us from all of the possibly meaningful points that do exist en route.

I would rather not give myself any excuses for being even less attentive than I already am, and to be honest, I think it would take a fair measure of the charm out of discovering my life with a degree of surprise as it happens. Do I hope that what comes will be pleasurable and kind and fulfilling? Naturally. But whatever it is, I will let it keep its secrets for now; there is a lot to be seen and felt and done long before I get there, wherever there is and whatever it holds.

Rising above the Ordinary

Red sky at morning: Sailors [Shepherds], take warning!

Funny, isn’t it, how we become so attached to our superstitions and assumptions about our daily experiences and expectations. If we put too much stock in signs and portents, isn’t there just a little bit of a chance that we might do the safe and predictable and wrong thing and end up so very much smaller and less interesting than we might have become had we taken a chance? Seems like it might be ever so much smarter to take a chance at growth and improvement and looking for enlightenment, don’t you think?

mixed media + textLightening Upward

Nothing do I covet,
nothing lack and
nothing seek–
except the serendipity of Light

that cuts the darkness open,
transforms blackness
to less bleak,
and with its glinting stars sweetens the night,

that makes my thoughts reach higher,
afire indeed
to reach the peak,
enlightened now, and gladly there alight.

Imagine! There could be some lovely opportunities and surprises in store for us all if we open our eyes and look for whatever light can leak through into our ordinary, dim and easily influenced expectations. At the very least, why not choose the challenging and positive and exciting interpretation when those old signs and portents show up again?

Red sky at night: Sailor’s [Shepherd’s] delight!

Place Your Bets and Get Moving

Much as I’m drawn to wondering what lies ahead, guessing, inferring and even betting on probabilities, am I in danger of defining-by-divining? It’s easy to get so immersed in the practice of my prognostications that I start to believe in them as the appointed future and let them become my default reality. What a pity if by over-enthusiastic crystal gazing and navel gazing and pseudo-scientific extrapolations I manage to constrain my life to what I expect it to be rather than letting it unfold and taking full advantage of what I’m able to create out of those things with which life presents me as I roll along.graphite drawingCandling eggs and reading ultrasounds of one’s innards and charting historic patterns–divination by trusted means–that’s all well and good, but only as a thought-provoking guide for what may be, and after all, if I don’t like the sound of the predictors, why on earth should I sit around and mope instead of defying the gravity of the situation! If I am to have any true resolutions for the future–the new year now unfolding or indeed, anything more than that–I’d like to think they will be about living that future in full, about being present in my present as it comes. I hope to be sometimes engulfed in the sweep of current life and sometimes embracing the immense and bracing Possible contained in every living moment with openness and imagination, hanging on for truly dear life. Let me dare to be fully, wildly, passionately alive while I live and not entangle in what-ifs more than is actually useful.graphite drawings x2Everything we do with our days and with our hearts and minds and skills and nerve can be spent on worrying and wondering, if we take ourselves and our powers of prediction and over whatever mysteries lie in wait too seriously. Or there can be enormously exhilarating challenges and opportunities and blessings blooming in abundance, scattered around and waiting for recognition and engagement. I hope that I am growing wise enough at long last to let go of fear and inhibition and the fungus of fatalism encroaching on assumptions of a fixed and implacable future, to instead spend much more of myself on the kind of work and action and play that happen gladly in the moment of their discovery. Time, I say, to get moving and try those wings.