"There's a New Year on the Doorstep, Mother.
It's come to kill the past.."
Those are the first two lines of a poem I wrote at around age 17. I'll have to find the rest of it though as I forget most of the following lines. I don't recall it being particularly brilliant but I've always liked the rhythm of these first two lines despite that.
What did 2008 do in your life?
Did the year do anything at all? Or did you do something to your year?
I find myself "blaming" 2008, The Year, on most of the things that happened to me. Truth be told, it is me who is to blame for almost everything that has happened. We can never really know how the infinitesimal choices we make, with each and every breath, affect our long-term future, but they do I think. The fact is that Time is never at fault for the lot we have and it isn't always the hand we've been dealt with either.
Life is a series of consequences. It is physics and metaphysics, shape and shaped, by the variables of human existence. All the things we think and choose, decide and do, shape and create in the lives we live are no one's fault but our own, in the long run. If we respond with fear, anxiety, angst and pain: if we respond with gratitude, love, joy and acceptance, we are in fact, choosing the future we wish to live, even if we disagree with it.
Still, a part of me says "Bring on 2009!" I want to hurry things along in the hopeful anticipation of positive climes during the coming year. I've always been like this! I have always hoped for better things, perfect things, beautiful, wonderful, glowing, sparkling, resplendent things. And I have feared these very things too.
There is a line in Jethro Tull's classic operetta "Thick as a Brick", where the genius child poet "Little Milton" (Ian Anderson), writes in his 'Epic Poem', "God is an overwhelming responsibility." I think we do treat God like that. We treat our future like that. We treat our past and our present, if we care to notice it, like that. We expect far too much of ourselves in our response to life - and to God. We abuse the gifts of Life and Love and we presume too much power in the concepts of fate and destiny. The very things I desire, I also fear because what is perfect is never AS perfect as I'd hoped it would be. My choice! My standard! My response! My consequence! And yours too, for what I choose affects you even if I claim no responsibility for it.
It was never meant to be like this but that we made it so.
It's not the New Year that "kills" our past. It is not Time that directs our lives. It isn't even God who is defining each little step for us to tread blindly. It is our choice to kill our past and create a new future. It's the choices upon choices we make for ourselves - and in regards to each other - that creates our collective future. God may have plans for us, but he is kind enough to allow us the freedom to choose how we approach those plans and walk the path.
Where there is gratitude, acceptance, understanding, truth, hope, faith, integrity, loyalty, honour, and Love above all, within our choices, our futures, our years, become less battlegrounds and more like pockets containing useful tools for the rest of our life, and yours.
May you bring to 2009 the responses and choices that create the best tools to keep you living and loving well into the future.