The workday is over, the day fades, and the long, busy year passes into memory.
And what happens to it there? Does it merely fade? I know that it changes shape as well, as some things fade from importance, and others grow in significance.
I don’t want to even pretend that I know what this past year has been. It feels like it’s been rich and full of contradictions, and being pulled in different directions. This blog has been caught up in the tidal, back and forth pull of priority. For a time, in the Spring, I reconnected to writing here again, and also to producing my jazz Podcast. Then, months ago, this blog fell away again, and I hardly noticed. But the podcast continues. And there was no plan for any of it, except to try and stay engaged.
If something has become clearer in the year it’s the presence of holes. Holes that will not be obscured by ignoring them. Holes in personal relationships, for one. There are relationships I’ve ignored, undervalued and lost. And there are others that have remained and even grown stronger, despite my inattentions, or maybe because not all friends value and need the same thing.
There’s the hole that has emerged in my narrative, in what I write, think about, in what I use to explain myself, to myself as well as to others. This blog has made this gap in particular very vivid. Because, more and more often my writing stops when I come face to face with some aspect of my life that I’m reluctant to share with the friends and with the strangers that may read my blog. I didn’t realize how wide some of these gaps are. They touch on what I think my “purpose” is, on ideas of commitment and loyalty, and they cover huge swaths of what falls under the categories “sex” and “relationship”. Large gaps, some with answers that are within reach, but will require courage to grasp; some for which the answers are faint, others for which they are frightening; and there are those gaps for which there are no answers at all.
Gratitude and gain make themselves known through all this wandering in wondering. And I realize, with some surprise, that I am grateful not only for those simple answers that rise up and are a comfort in my hand or heart. I am also grateful, maybe even more grateful, for realizing that answers are very often incomplete, superficial, and over-valued. One of the beautiful prizes is to find no answer at all. Maybe to discover that some pressing question was not that at all, but more of an ardent affirmation of what had no fixed, accepted place. Because yes, those mis-placed, unrecognized, dismissed urges and knowings and longings do scream, they do. They make themselves known, and we mistakenly think it’s all about our questions, about what we think we need to know, to figure out, to achieve.
But the hero of this brief essay, if there needs to be one beyond you and me, is the Fool. The first card of the Tarot, the innocent in the world, the ultra present one who thinks not a second about anything that isn’t NOW. The Fool is forever stepping over cliffs and into ditches, stumbling open eyed into various manifestations of the unknown. I will walk into 2016 with my arm interlocked with his, an unknowing grin on my face, ready for whatever comes!