Monday, January 01, 2007

Midnight, 1/1/007

At midnight, I'm standing outside. The air is just about perfectly cool, that exact chill we crave this time of year, not too warm, not too cold, just right, right about 39 degrees, headed toward a low of maybe 28 just before dawn.

Past DONE. Future, maybe. The clock is just the excuse for a ritual protesting our mortal ends, for parading our exuberance, our embrace of the NOW we've got. Air like champagne, crisp, sharp, dry, black above, stars above, with tinges of letting go behind and now and again, before us, possibility.

I'm standing out in my sparkling yard, with it's bright white and blue streaks, hundreds of holiday lights, arcs up and into the trees, toward the black sky, and it looks good. A Walt Whitman moment, a dust to dust to star dust moment. I am feeling my aliveness and maybe yours. Feel your aliveness. Feel you've made it this far, for worse or better. And you lovers, sing the body electric. Sense the kisses, millions of kisses, those stolen and those long anticipated, in close quarters and out, outside, way out under those Walt Whitman stars, a human universe. Cold space punctuated by the near miracle of blood and a human pulse, putting your mind to the sky and the passing of time.

And there's no breeze, no wind, nothing's moving outside, except for the cacophony of muted hoots, horns, and hollers. And then there are these big BOOMS. Wow. Not your average neighborhood fireworks. Someone has invested in these big bangs, these pyrotechnicolor galaxies. They're taking a sizable and very visible risk. These puppies would make a big city display proud, and they're coming from about eight or ten houses away, and you just kind of wonder if the cops will make it to them and spoil the party. And I am thinking there is something so primordial about declaring loudly 'Damn it, I've made it this far. Time's marching on, and I am hanging on for the ride!" There's something so refreshing about the ragged exuberance of New Year's, even buried in a backwater of the heartland, sans Dick Clark, sans television coverage, sans expectation, wondering if any rich ritual will rear it's boxer's dance for a midnight smattering of lookers on, from near and far, just people outside cooking stuff and and drinking more than a little and handing out noise makers and laughing at midnight, such a rare thing in this gotta-get-to-work-early country.

This is Monday. It's a work day. But no, not tonight, and not tomorrow. Not today. Monday busted by a holiday. And so life is just a little bit better than it was a week or two ago.

Just a few minutes ago, it was December 2006, the month of many headlines and stacks of stuff and Big Deaths. And now, either all of a sudden or in a subtle flow of moments, it's January of a NEW year, never reached, never realized before, the proverbial slate sort of swiped clean, at least now in this bracing air just after midnight, 2007, in a year maybe 20 minutes old. 2007. A few moments after midnight it seems crisp and lean and acutely focused on and making it this far, at least this far, this far for worse or better, but tonight here and now.

Two thousand seven. That sounds fresh, with the twinkling lights, the sharp chill and the fleeting fires of promise.

2 Comments:

At 1/01/2007 12:24 AM, Anonymous rachel x! said...

caught your blog as it blasted by. and I just caught the NY Times headline "It's Next Year Now". love that!! yep, NOW, better nation guy! Carpe 2007!!! luv yer thinking.

 
At 1/01/2007 5:13 AM, Anonymous RQ said...

Wow! This is poetry. One of your best. Love "Monday busted by a holiday." Twinkle On! RQ

 

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