Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Auld Lang Syne

As we come to the close of yet another year, I am struck by the effect that choices, even one singular life choice, can have on, not only one's life, but on the lives within the realm of that one life, which can dramatically alter the courses of those lives, for better or for worse. Not that this was a suddenly new revelation or epiphanic moment. Outside of my two marriages and, subsequently, divorces, the last major life-altering decision I made was the decision to remain and set up stakes in southern California, 22 years ago, after deciding to part ways with the job that had brought me there in the first place.

This year, on the cusp of my celebrating reaching the mid-century mark(presuming, God willing and the creek don't rise, the possibility of living to see the full century mark), I made, what is, ostensibly, another life-altering decision, which involved pulling up those aforementioned stakes and setting them down in a place that, as was southern California(none too familiar)--Nashville, Tennessee. And with such a move,
the prospect of new opportunities; new friends; new highs and, most likely, new lows. With such a move, I have left behind lifelong friends and a stepdaughter, who now, with the rarest of exceptions and special occasions, I will get to see via phone calls, texting, and Facebook; memories, great and small, tragic and comic; missed opportunities and roads not taken, for good or ill. With such a move, I have benefitted from a closer relationship with my girlfriend, Cindi and gotten to know her family better; I am closer in proximity to my own blood family, many of whom, I had the pleasure of spending time with and look forward to doing more in the coming year; I have become steadily involved in the growing poetry community here and look forward to not only expanding my horizons within, but also branching out into other arenas(literally and figuratively), both within and without, along with the prospect of becoming more prolific and diverse in my literary output.

As I look forward to a new year and the second half of my life's journey, I leave myself open and welcoming to the experiences that will inevitably come, both within my control and outside of it; hopefully letting God lead the way without too much interference on my part, aside from only what is necessary and warranted. I look forward to more visits with my mother and other members of my family; to re-engaging and reconnecting with friends not seen in many a year; to my daughter's graduation from art school and her budding emergence into the art and animation world and all that that entails, as well as her continued development into the woman she is steadily becoming; to the ever-growing effect that my girlfriend will have on my life and the course it will take, as well as her effect on the company of her employ, whose growth has become dependent upon.

And on a much broader perspective, as I look toward this new year, I can only hope, pray, and wish: for more understanding between the citizens of this world; that greed and reckless power are trumped by compassion and a better grasp of the needs of others, no matter where they are or come from; that the role of the artist(regardless of medium) supersedes that of the politician and those who think they have control over us; that truth and love shine brighter than the sun; and that violence, in any form, is no longer a necessity--whether you're a cop or a soldier; a husband who just lost the means to care for his family; a mother who has exhausted all avenues of caring for her children; or a young man or woman who's never been taught or shown the value of life.

As we sing auld lang syne to the year just passed, and hosannas to the year about to be birthed, I wish us all peace; I wish us all hope; I wish us all beauty; I wish us all truth; and, above all, I wish us all, love. Happy New Year!

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