Time to put the year to bed. Tuck it in and say, "Nightie Night," sing a lullaby. I just turned in the final grades for my students, went Xmas shopping, had a dinner party with my very talented musician friends, song rocking this little Merriewood house, closing on the midnight hour with Amazing Grace.
There is nothing better than singing that song really loud with your friends, or with anyone who wants to sing and feel found instead of lost. Kenneth loved it; he arrived in the middle of the hootenanny, after working for twelve hours. Chef time at Xmas time is a whole lotta work. But he was delighted, coming into a house full of music.
Music, poetry, stories, writing, students, friends, family: it has saved a wretch like me.
Thank you, Redroom, for the many voices, the amazing grace of community, the song of it, a great gift, as good as a box of See's candy.
Here's a poem for:
The Last Day of the Year
On the last day of the year, I throw 2008 in the trash.
The calendar is crumpled from falling off the wall; by December,
eleven pages of months have been hanging around long after
their moment in the sun, all bunched up and shivering
behind Ansel Adams' photograph of Yosemite Valley buried
under pounds of snow. The little squares of days are now at rest,
no more doctor's and dentist's appointments,
no more root canals, cancer scares, English Department meetings,
the year collapsed in on itself, 365 black holes added to the cosmos
of newspapers, yogurt containers, and wine bottles.
Staring at the empty space on the wall, I'm soothed by utter blankness.
Nothing to look forward to, nothing to look back upon.
No yearning, no remembering. As if God pushed the Pause button.
A shiver shoots down my spine, and I think about getting a new calendar
as soon as possible, on January 2nd when the stores open,
and the machine of the world cranks up again. The world of things
to do, places to go, people to meet, little squares of days
in the sun, a table, blue flowers in a vase, a menu, a glass, a plate.
Causes Susan Browne Supports
Run Together, A Race to Raise Money for Leukemia and Lymphoma Society