Friday, December 31, 2010

Forrest Gump: I'm sorry I ruined your New Year's Eve party, Lieutenant Dan. She tasted like cigarettes….

The days and nights leading up to New Year’s Eve have a range of emotions and brings about a plethora of concerns for most. How, why, who (with) will you celebrate? How, why, who (with) will you not? Go big and club out? Go small and simply reflect? Scoff or rejoice?

Perhaps you may not take the extreme and you’ll plan all events out with measure and balance…a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Like a potion that renders someone under a spell, I have always found New Year’s Eve taunting and mesmerizing at the same time; like the gravitational pull of two magnets; like a boy pulling on my pigtails at school just asking to be wrestled; like an exam over your head that you must finish within the hour. You can be mesmerized by the marketed holiday that invites, encourages or perhaps forces you to be among a throb of people, that which provokes questions of true connectivity. Or it can torture you endlessly with questions about your status in life, that which is like the changing of guards in year counts of what’s left in your stack of cards. On the lighter side, New Year’s Eve is the refreshing and much sought out “clean slate.” The concept of “out with the old and in with the new.” Think writer T.S Eliot said it most eloquently in his poem “Little Gidding”—“For last year's words belong to last year's language. And next year's words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning.”

Whatever your mindset is about New Year’s Eve you can bet it has or will have an affect. Will yours be the Lt. Dan (Forest Gump) hotel room night? Or will yours be the Harry love declaration (When Harry Met Sally)? Or will yours be the Bridget Jones drunk singing fiasco?

Extraordinarily, one of my friends plainly said he wasn’t doing anything out of the ordinary. No ball drop watching. No mass crowds. No vomiting in the toilet. No meditating or chanting to candles. No hors d'œuvres. No friends. No clinking of champagne-filled glasses. Just an ordinary day and night. I looked at him puzzled, aghast what seemed to be a lie. Could this wonderful man friend of mine, so popular and in demand as he is, be completely unaffected? Should we commit him to science and study him?? What made him free of all the affectations that this holiday brings upon so many people? Well, he’s Larry. He’s refused the holiday because he doesn’t need it. He doesn’t want it. Nor does it generate any validation, duty or impression for him. Sure! Unknown to us, he may have those latent reflections possibly lurking around the stroke of midnight, but if you knew Larry he’d probably be jamming on his drums; spellbound by his own universe. I like that visual.

So. The beat on the street is that 2010 has been the year of calamities, personal strife, big losses, high tribulations and overall chaos. And if you’re wondering, yes, I took an accurate poll; and I can share with great camaraderie my vote. For “scientific” means and reader’s reassurance, I am sure I can get some mildly interesting astrological reasoning behind all of it, such as Mars is hiding behind the Moon, Pluto jumped over the Sun, Mercury is yet again in retrograde. (F**K Mercury and it’s retrogrades). I can also quote the great philosophers, religionists, et al about how they regarded New Year’s Eve, aka “No one ever regarded the First of January with indifference. It is that from which all date their time, and count upon what is left. It is the nativity of our common Adam.” –Charles Lamb

But, before I digress into a variety of related and somewhat unrelated topics:

I wish for each of you on this New Year’s Eve holiday to be spellbound by your own personal universe in the most positive way. I encourage neither a detailed event schedule or a total non event, but rather that you are happy. Truly, deeply happy. That’s all we can ask for as humans. It’s a tall glass that if we’re lucky enough to order for another year, we can dictate how full or empty it is. With that said, bring in 2011 with a hydration and strength…because you made it. You really did! If you can, keep that perspective and maybe avoid those emotional questions that stir you up inside. Maybe it’s enough to stand outside ourselves and just be human. Flawed but oh so…beautiful. That may be idealism, but to answer what I’M doing for New Year’s Eve—I’m going to be me. An elusive answer perhaps. Not if you really know me. Here’s a quote that may make it clearer…

"Year's end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us." –Author Hal Borland

As I’m wiping down my 2010 etch-a-sketch, I wish you all a Happy New Year! xox