Friday, December 31, 2004

Farewell to all that

Farewell to f'ing 2004.

Not the best of years. Helen Keller said, "Security is a myth. It does not exist in nature. Life is either a daring adventure, or it is nothing at all."

Yes, this has been a tough year, a digressive not a progressive year in so many ways. Even our hopes for change got dashed by a few percentage points of the popular vote. And war and injustices of all sorts rage on. But scientific and cultural and intellectual progress matter, politics matters, music matters, art matters, civic virtues and personal virtues matter, love matters.

Above all, as materialistic and money-driven and busy-driven as all those multi-taskers are, above all, love matters.

Sentiment and whimsy and humor and laughter and light-heartedness and joy.

Even in tatters, even seemingly naive in the eyes of the wry cynics, even in light of such overwhelming selfishness and blindness and faith and force, the bravery of outright, overly generous affection and love matter.

Hemingway said that "bravery is grace under pressure."

Plenty of us are under pressure now - lots of pressure, tremendous pressure. And the pressures can blind us or partially blind us to the more profound pleasures that would help us be more content.

Satisfaction and contentedness are what we really must crave. These are what we lack and need - longing and love must come back to the fore to guide our hungers, our heads and our hearts.

It is contentedness that seems to escape and exasperate the American people, to so confound our hopes and abilities to become better people and a better nation. We need more grace under pressure.

And we need more perfect moments. We can't ask for or expect perfect lives, but we can certainly focus better and appreciate more the perfect moments that come our way and that we create ourselves.

And so, heading into a new year, these are the things I wish for us all the most - more perfect moments, more peace, more contentedness, more love.

Love to all, and may our new year be better than this year, for better or worse, now irretrievably gone by.


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