Thursday, December 31, 2009

Blue Moon, Blue Decade

I don’t think I’ve talked to a single person or know anyone who is sorry at all to see 2009 ushered out. For most of us, it seems 2010 can’t come quickly enough. Between the economic crisis, major life changes, or just the exhaustion of tiptoeing along the precipice of employment, home ownership, or simple liquidity, this was probably not the year most of us expected. In fact I haven’t yet seen the year I’ve been expecting. But if the last few weeks is any indication, 2010 might finally be it.

This is not to say that there weren’t some good things in 2009. There were. It brought lovely things for some good friends—one friend in particular outdid us all by getting married, pregnant, and relocated cross-country all within seven or eight short months! Like many of his cousins before him, my son became a Marching Band Kid, alto sax, doing his grandma proud. After a wobbly trial run last year, my daughter blossomed in her second year of gymnastics, with a serious I’ve not seen in her before. At the crossroads of three different jobs I led my first full solo search, and by all reports it was wildly successful for the client, which couldn’t make me happier.

The year 2009 also saw for the most part an end to some of my generosity and tolerance. I am hardened in new ways, my open heart and compassion tested and broken. It’s not my way but I had to get real. Life was tenuous and uncertain enough and the news around the world got worse and worse. Like many folks, I was tossed several unnecessary loads of crap, as were a few other close friends, and I regret now that I put up with it. So when it happened again as my dear sister-in-law was beginning chemotherapy and as my own sister was beginning immunotherapy for a list of newly discovered allergies a mile long on top of hitherto undetected severe chronic asthma, the trick was laid bare like my own bare and open heart, like a sin I’d been accomplice to. Inside, the snap was almost audible, like a thrown switch in a dark theatre that brings the lights up. That’s the end of that soliloquy.

Life in any decade has its moments, its pitfalls and victories, gains and losses, status quo stretches and life changing ordeals. Each year we grow, we adapt, we learn, we see, we are given countless opportunities to succeed or fail and to see each of those through our own eyes. So even when it sucks, life is rich, even glorious.

Tonight is a blue moon, a second full moon in the same month. How fitting for the New Year’s Eve of one of the most tumultuous decades in history, and the most tumultuous yet for me. I lost a baby, a mother, a mother-in-law, a marriage, but gained or regained so very much – wisdom, freedom, consciousness, clarity, soulfulness, self-esteem, self-sufficiency, the glorious gift of an opportunity to share my authentic life with my children, and my own true self. For all of these and for the friends and family who saw me through and help me realize them, I am deeply, deeply grateful.

I am so pleased to share with you this video of Vince Gill, whom I was lucky enough to catch in his return to bluegrass mode last year at IBMA (which I won’t be missing again). He’s a fine mando picker, and I’ve always loved his voice. This night I think about this song and the music and how completely transformed and restored I am because of it. Tonight after a lost year I rededicate a part of myself to its success, its people, and its rightful place in our cultural heritage.

My true wish for you and your loved ones is a healthy, meaningful, and prosperous new year and new decade.

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