Friday, December 31, 2010


This was the year that started outside of Vegas. It’s not as glam as it sounds. I like to hike in the desert.

This was the year I started to build a walkway out of individual stones then quit halfway and questioned the direction it was going. I’ll continue building it someday. I still have a sense of direction and still have the stones to finish what I started.

Some of our modern machines died this past year and needed to be replaced but in the rush of daily life I was too busy to see the metaphor. Most days I’ll take clean clothes over epiphanies.

I finally got the chance to visit the castles where my long-lost ancestors learned masonry, chivalry and fighting. It’s a learned thing, listening to stone.

This was the year that the tomatoes did poorly. The roses, empathetic, didn’t do much better.

This was the first year that I wrote every day, built a blog and some stronger writing habits. It’s fun seeing your name in print next to others who are pretty good.

I got to spend two days with Kay Ryan and listened carefully to everything she said. Here’s a summary: speak with your own voice or not at all.

I picked up the banjo then put it down and wondered what the hell was I thinking.

My prayers resumed then stopped then started again. It’s a fine thing the teacher isn’t grading for punctuation.

I couldn’t stop marching, for religious tolerance, for GLBT rights, for battered families, and in the footsteps of St. Patrick. Still no shortage of snakes in this world but they seem to be getting better at evasion.

This was the year I caught glimpses of the man my son is becoming and they almost always filled me with joy.

With every passing year I’ve learned of more passings and reminders of stories that don’t get told until we’re gone. I felt the triumph of someone who got a second chance and her stories are just starting to form.

You might have caught my self-absorbed tone over the solstice. Only catharsis, maybe caused by the dark days and rapidly rising river. But the days are already getting longer, we’re survived floods before and I live on higher ground than I used to.

La vita e bella - life is good. I’ll see you in 2011.

~ J. D. M.


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