Much have I seen and known
Certainly I can say, I am part of all that I have met and yet it might be that I’ve got a case of that summertime sadness going around from Lana Del Rey. Or maybe not. It is fair to say in my experience, December hasn’t been so much ho, ho, ho, as uh oh, woe. Mainly cos death. Lots of death. Let’s say it’s a time of heightened anxiety for me if you are a loved one of mine.
But though much is taken, much abides.
Yet for all the loss there’s remains a kind of magic in the air. I’m pagan enough to appreciate the topsy turvy seasonal festivities and still delight in carols (not songs, or fancied-up Mariah-Carey’d impossible to follow carols that the neighbours seem to like, but real carols). Maybe too, I still hope a magic gift giver will divine my wishes for me and for everyone else. I’m child enough, even now, to want Father Christmas to be real. But go on, who secretly doesn’t?
All times I have enjoyed
Greatly, have suffered greatly, both with those
that loved me, and alone.
It’s sometimes an effort to take in the cheer and I know people, many people, are struggling. But you and me are bigger than the woe, grander than our failures and might have beens, deeper than our scars, stronger than our enemies, more generous and kind than our battles would have us believe. We are each smarter and better than we think in our darkest moments.
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven
Another year is ending, which means we’re all that much more older, but older is just another indicator that means we’re still here. And there’s some yay in that. It should be celebrated. Ok we’re all moving towards our inevitable individual annihilations, but we don’t have to march in lock-step towards DOOM. We can skip or prance or roll or waddle or take a barrel ride. We can strike out for newer worlds, or ancient ones and shine in use while we may.
...that which we are, we are –
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield
That is, if any of this is real. Could all be a hologram. Be that as it may though, at this point in the year, I’ll try to bid adieu to the past and its ghosts. I’ll leave them in my wake as I sit a littler straighter at the tiller, casting an occasional weather eye on the future, not for storms, but in hope of gentle calming breezes. All the while doing my best, like Marcus Aurelius, to confine myself to the present. Or the presents.
Thanks Alfy, Lord Tennyson, for Ulysses. I’m pretty sure he’d consider my writing a kind of butchery of his poem, and pretty sure he wasn’t down with the blogging, but who am I to argue with the ninth most frequently quoted writer in The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, according to…you know who.