Posts Tagged ‘new year’s eve’

December 31

I know it’s just another square
on the calendar, another tick on a clock
in the Royal Observatory in London,
but tonight feels like a good time
to forgive myself—for thinking
I know anything. For wishing for life
to be any different than it is. For
blaming anyone or anything.
For every time I have turned away
from helping someone else. Tonight
is the right time to touch the darkness
and feel how small I am, to expose
my fear for the future, my pain
of the past, and let all be flooded
by the shimmer of present mystery.
Tonight is the time to nourish
the pericardium of the world,
to take care of the one great heart
that beats in us all and trust  
that our kindness matters always—
not in a conceptual way, but
in the very specific way we say hello,
the way we hold out our hand,
how we shape our words,
where we give of our time, and
how we open or wall off our thoughts.
I light a candle tonight, as every night,
and invoke my beloveds here and not here.
And though it’s a small act,
it unfastens some lock in me
and says yes, this is more
than a date, more than a timetable.
This is an essential point
on the continuum of love.
This is a chance to bring light.

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We sat around the oval kitchen table

and made hats out of ribbons

and paper plates, and we piled them high

with golden grapes and fake flowers.

I remember thinking how great, how magic it was

that something we’d use for dinner

transformed into something so elegant.


Today I stared hard at a paper plate,

as if I could return to that state of delight

and easy grace. Was this how Cinderella felt

when she gazed at the pumpkin the day

after the ball? Wondering if the magic

happened at all? Weighing the shape

of reality against her dream?


Yes, I tell myself, it was real,

the glittering fruit, the beauty I felt,

the laughter around the table.

And it was a dream, the way my parents

made it seem as if we had it all.

And when the clock struck midnight,

none of the magic left at all.



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