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Monday, December 31, 2007

Thoughts on Things: The New Year

New year. New moon. New life.

Everything old is new again.

High newn.

Johnny, we hardly knew ye.

New baby.

New hope.

No hope. No, for now let's stick with new hope.


I'm reminded of those Palmer Method penmanship exercises we did in grade school. You started with a circle, then made another circle just a fraction to the right of it, then another, another. And at the end of the row you had a tube of circles, like an optical illusion. Your two-dimensional Slinky ran in a long row across the page. It was usually decorated with smudges and bumps, enlivened with not-always-O-shaped circles. I remember that you were supposed to move the whole arm as you did this, not just your fingers or your hand. Did anyone ever do that? Did anyone, even our teachers, know how to relax the shoulder, let the forearm rest only lightly on the paper, and move the entire arm as they wrote? If anyone ever succeeded in doing this, please let me know.


That exercise reminds me of the way the Universe keeps swinging us back again and again to meet our hot spot, our wound, our challenge. You think you've dealt with the issue and, indeed, you have. On one plane. And then the circle turns again and again and you meet it over and over, in different guises. You nibble away at it. You solve this part or that part. The next time it comes around you ignore it, hoping it will go away. Then another time you tackle it head-on. And back and back it comes. And you keep learning.


At the end, a series of stop-motion photographs of our life and work might look like the Palmer Method exercise. Round and round and round again. Nothing new under the sun. We keep on until that circling loses its smudges and glitches and we've made it as smooth and whole as the full moon.


But for right now, the moon is new. The year is new. Our hopes are new. And the Light is returning. Already we can see a difference in the morning. In another month it will feel like Spring. Except for the temperature, of course.


New times. New goals. New ways of seeing.


Copyright 2007 Ann Tudor

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