A long-awaited end


Here we are! It's finally the fifth week of the final five weeks the first fifth of the 21st century. Say THAT five times fast.


This year, this annus horribilus, is coming to a close. Let us count ourselves lucky to have survived. Of course, we know that turning the page from December to January is merely a momentary gesture, but allow yourself to appreciate the significance of the act this year and to make it a moment of gratitude and courage. Let your discarding of the old calendar be a metaphorical burial of 2020 and the mounting of a fresh new calendar on the wall to be a symbol of hope, a new page in your journal to write your story on. Just go for it. You're allowed to buy into the whole story of a fresh start if you decide you want to. Go ahead, own it. Make it yours. Why not? Go for broke. After 2020, you earned it.


You can start right in on line one, page one, or you can just pick a day or a page or a line to start your forward-looking view -- anywhere you want. I offer this poem to you to contemplate as you begin the new month, or year, or decade. No matter where you are in your life, consider this as you look forward, not back:


A Spiral Notebook

by Ted Kooser


The bright wire rolls like a porpoise

in and out of the calm blue sea

of the cover, or perhaps like a sleeper

twisting in and out of his dreams,

for it could hold a record of dreams

if you wanted to buy it for that

though it seems to be meant for

more serious work, with its

college-ruled lines and its cover

that states in emphatic white letters,

5 SUBJECT NOTEBOOK. It seems

a part of growing old is no longer

to have five subjects, each

demanding an equal share of attention,

set apart by brown cardboard dividers,

but instead to stand in a drugstore

and hang on to one subject

a little too long, like this notebook

you weigh in your hands, passing

your fingers over its surfaces

as if it were some kind of wonder.

Wishing you a 2021 of focusing your attention on whatever subject inspires you for however long it takes to fill you up with grace, peace and contentment. And, when that's done, more of the same. And, more. Many more than five.

On to fascination and wonder. On to 2021.