New Year

 

I pause to check the milkweed, and a caterpillar halts midbite, its face still lowered to the leaf.

I walk down my driveway at dusk, and the cottontail under the pine tree freezes, not a single twitch of ear or nose.

On the roadside, the doe stands immobile, as still as the trees that rise above her. My car passes; her soft nose doesn’t quiver. Her soft flanks don’t rise or fall. A current of air stirs only the hairs at the very tip of her tail.

I peek between the branches of the holly bush, and the redbird nestling looks straight at me, motionless, unblinking.

Every day the world is teaching me what I need to know to be in the world.

In the stir of too much motion:

Hold still.
Be quiet.
Listen.

~ Margaret Renkl, “Still” in Late Migrations: A Natural History of Love and Loss


Photo Credit

‘New Year, New You’ B.S. (Hear! Hear!)

And now for “27 ways to feel bad about yourself while the last piece of Christmas pudding you’ve ‘indulged’ in is still making its way through your intestinal tract…”

As the new year dawns, you’ll notice that without ANY space to breathe whatsoever, what was once a newsfeed saturated with sequins, pints and party platters becomes one bursting at the seams with resistance bands, Nutri Bullets and all manner of “New Year, New You” rhetoric. If that works for you, great. If it doesn’t, keep on reading…

If you find all of this relentless (and, at times, negative) then join the club. I’ve decided I’m over it. I’ve clicked the “unsubscribe” button and it’s incredibly liberating.”New Year, New You” regimes are framed in such a way that they seem motivating, uplifting and encouraging. The reality is they’re designed to sell gym members and juice cleanses at a time when they’re most marketable and we’re most vulnerable. The sheer volume and velocity of this kind of content coming at us from every angle — while we’re still polishing off the last of the mince pies — can make us feel as though we’ve already failed within the first few minutes of the new year.Add to the mix, the pressure of New Year’s resolutions — which suggest that regardless of our current situation, we have much to improve upon; that we need to be better. We’re encouraged to set out a new set of goals, towards which to move to in the hopes of finding what we all want: happiness. We’ve barely finished the last verse of Auld Lang Syne and already, we’re exhausted, defeated and riddled with festive guilt.But here’s a thought: instead of subscribing to what’s become a very tired narrative, this year, let January be yours. (Read Caroline Foran’s 6 tips for moving forward here.)

So, if you insist on resolving to do something, do this: go easy on yourself, be your own benchmark for success. And think about the kind of lifestyle you want to live. Happy New Year.

~ Caroline Foran, from “6 reasons I no longer subscribe to ‘New Year, New You’ BS” (Mashable, January 1, 2019). Caroline Foran is a journalist and a best-selling author of “Owning It: Your Bullshit Free Guide to Living With Anxiety” and “The Confidence Kit: Your Bullsh*t-Free Guide to Owning Your Fear“.

Resolutions. Day 1.

Today I want
to resolve nothing.

I only want to walk
a little longer in the cold…

Kim Addonizio, from “New Year’s Day” in Tell Me


Notes:

  • Inspired by Lucille Clifton, “I am running into a new year” (via Read a Little Poetry): i am running into a new year / and the old years blow back / like a wind / that i catch in my hair / like strong fingers like / all my old promises and / it will be hard to let go / of what i said to myself / about myself…
  • Poem Source – Memory’s Landscape.
  • Photo: Frozen Lake Tremblant in the Laurentides region of Quebec. Photo by Timothy A. Clary, Agence France, wsj.com December 24, 2017)

Did I eat all that? It’s time for New Year’s Resolutions.


Source: (via Newthom)

Tuesday Morning Wake-Up Call

calvin-and-hobbes


Calvin and Hobbes Source: Peteski via this isn’t happiness

Running. Day 1, 2017.

bird-focus-look-down

Day 1, 2017.

A morning for reflection, lallygagging, and awe of a poem written by Stanley Kunitz: “still-wet words…scribbled on the blotted page: ‘Light splashed …’

Still-wet words. Light splashed. Wow. 

Sun beams pour in through the window, light splashes but does not lift this load…God, it’s so warm under these covers. How about reading, watching movies, and remaining horizontal?

10am. I need to exercise. Now! Sigh. What a state of mind on Day 1.

Mile 1

How about New Year’s resolutions? How about Not?  You’ve long since given up on Resolutions. You know the loop. Commit. Attempt. Renege in less than 30 days. Then self-flagellate for the remaining 11 months. Who needs it? Really?

Mile 2

I appreciated the punch line of Try a New Year’s Revolution: “I will work toward better days for myself…May Januarys be about self-acceptance, not self-improvement.” LOVE THAT.

Mile 3

“May Januarys be about self-acceptance, not self improvement.” I don’t think I can do that. I don’t think I can “do” self acceptance. OMG. I’m on another doom loop. This could be harder than setting New Year’s Resolutions. [Read more…]

13 days in. New Year. New Me.

funny-new-year-resolution-tweets


Source: themetapicture.com

So fill your glass. Here’s tae us.

footprints-in-snow

Remember, the time of year
when the future appears
like a blank sheet of paper
a clean calendar, a new chance.
On thick white snow

you vow fresh footprints
then watch them go
with the wind’s hearty gust.
So fill your glass. Here’s tae us.
Promises
made to be broken, made to last.

Jackie Kay, “Promise”


Notes:

  1. About Jackie Kay: Jackie Kay (b. 1961) is an award-winning writer of fiction, poetry and plays, whose subtle investigation into the complexities of identity have been informed by her own life. Born in Edinburgh to a Scottish mother and Nigerian father, she was adopted as a baby by a white couple. Kay’s awareness of her different heritages inspired her first book of poetry, The Adoption Papers, which dramatises her experience through the creation of three contrasting narrators: an adoptive mother, a birth mother and a daughter.
  2. Photographer: Matt Wyles. Poem Source: litverve
  3. Find this poem in Jackie Kay’s Book: Life Mask or in Poems on the Underground by Judith Chernaik

Let’s face it, New Year’s resolutions are venomous things.

Carroll-Jonathan-13

Let’s face it, New Year’s resolutions are venomous things. You make them, you break them, you feel lousy, you forget them. But if your bent is masochism and you insist, I recommend reasonable things that are not hard to accomplish: This year I resolve not to drink furniture polish. I resolve to give away all my patent leather. I resolve to pet as many dogs as will permit me.

I once resolved to give up cigarettes but then realized they were one of my oldest friends. As one grows older, we need all the friends we can get so forget that resolution. Likewise drinking. I have never liked to drink so I don’t, but I refused to give it up on numerous occasions for a New Year’s resolution because who knows — one day drinking might come in handy and then where would I be? You have to be careful about these things — life is long and pleasure is short and too often life wins.

If a gun were pointed at my head today and the man in the black cape announced, “Make a resolution or die!” I would grudgingly say, “This year I will try to be kinder, more patient, and as generous as a baby with a cookie.”

The problem with resolutions is we know ourselves pretty well and know if we ain’t doing it now, we probably won’t begin on January 1st. I guess the best thing to do is start in immediately but make no promises to yourself or anyone else. Certainly not out loud. We can make lists and resolutions all day long but the doing is what matters and that can begin any day.

Jonathan Carroll


Jonathan Samuel Carroll, 65, was born in NYC and has lived in Austria since the 1970s. He is an American fiction writer primarily known for novels that may be labelled magic realism,slipstream or contemporary fantasy.

Day 1 of 365: Resolutions

Calvin-Hobbes-New-Year-resolution-funny


Thank you Rudy @ Et in Arcadia Ego*

 

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