There were so many different grains of sand that fell this year. Each one very precious. Each one with significant purpose and meaning. I learned so much, this year, more than I have in a very long time. Listening affords one the opportunity to hear and then change, if one is open to that.
This was the year that seemed to ride on shifting sands all the way through... everything I thought would go one way, went another, so many plans were changed or let go of, and things I didn't expect presented themselves from seemingly nowhere.
There was forgiveness between people I love, and I forgave, and I was graciously forgiven. It emphasized compassion, understanding, patience, devotion and love, and it strengthened bonds.
There was discovery and adventure in small and huge ways, in new places and in old, hand in hand with friends, which only serves to enrich those kind of experiences even more. These excursions included the procurement of a red satin fringed flapper dress, Tony Bennett, King Tut, incredible moments in Muir Woods, tigers & leopards, ocean waves, orca whales, beautiful cities, a champagne birthday on a beach before an ocean sunset, a random cow, tangible history in Westminster Abbey, new friends in London, old and new hidden treasured places along the Thames, midnight under Big Ben, a movie set & some incredible actors, dolphins in SF Bay (?!), the best breakfast cafe in SF, the best sushi in the world in V.BC, a girl and her horse make beautiful subjects before a lens, mountain lakes don't last for eternity, there are faerie glens in woods & secret mountain places, I went halfway up the Eiffel Tower... again, the umbrella salesman has a stand at the end of the rainy road, I already met the only accordion player who knows La Vie En Rose and he's not in Vegas, art comes in every form and when it's water, it's beautiful, there's no rush or thrill like standing on a stage in a theatre singing your heart out to strangers, and it is equally thrilling to see dear friends do the same.
Friendships mean different things to different people and when they are lost, it isn't always a bad thing. In the face of lost friendships, the loyalty and devotion of good friends is truly shown for its priceless worth.
When times are very difficult, in loss, in fright, in pain, in anger, in confusion, there isn't anything so good or precious as the warm steady strength of a friends hand or loving arms to make it through the darkness.
We have control over our environments, most of the time, and we have absolute control over how we choose to react to our environments and our experiences. I quote Viktor Frankl, a holocaust survivor, “...The last of human freedoms – the ability to choose one’s attitude in a given set of circumstances.” as he explains how he made it through his unthinkable ordeal. I repeated lessons in learning to adapt and grow in different environments... learning to make choices that would benefit others as well as myself.
Humbleness is found in honesty with self and when spoken with love by others, and it is the essential nutrient a soul needs to grow strong and upright.
Allowing shame and guilt to dictate behavior and thought is an unnecessary self-inflicted binding that hinders recovery and growth and should be left alone entirely.
One of the biggest lessons of the year, and one I am still working through, is that love is all encompassing... real love knows no bounds, it is not ruled by organization... by trying to force it into categories and definitive segments... compartmentalized until it is nicely and neatly controlled. It is fluid, powerful, endless, as the oceans I love so much. Learning how to love like that is a work in progress for me. It is astounding what I've held back from others because I did not understand the way that love is. I raged against the wall only to discover that I'd built the dam with my own two hands, all by myself. There's a confounding revelation.
Another lesson is learning to deal with everything as it comes, instead of pretending it does not exist, as has been my modus operandi for a long while. This behavior has excluded me from the very world at large... known, unknown, wanted, unwanted, and I've missed more than I could ever express. I have a passion for life that is boundless within certain bounds. That paradox cuts off so much possibility. I want boundless passion for life... period. I don't want to miss anything. Ever.
I hope that this year has found you well and successful in every way. Healthy, strong, and happy. I hope you've realized dreams and goals, and I hope you have new ones shining in the distance of days to come.
Happy New Year