A New Year’s Letter to Theodora


Dear D.L.D.,

I did manage to tick everything off my mental list last night before bed. No new resolutions, really. Perhaps resolution is the key word for the new year, though. To follow through. Less haphazardly.

Haphazard is a funny word. And not what I mean at all.

I took the week off. That is, I did what I wanted to. Mostly. I slept, and I read. And I was unduly annoyed when pressed, or disturbed. I’m thinking again of seasons. How the earth has tilted, and has begun to wind up again towards the long summer days, nights: all the light. Yet it feels darker than ever. Perhaps because the Christmas lights come down, along with the unfulfilled expectations. Too many this year.

Now, do we simply wait for the sun?

New Year’s Run. The wind wipes it all away eventually, bit by bit. One way or another.

January, with its blank slate, is discomforting. Like being flung into the unknown.

This is a season of quiet. I want to retreat to a cabin in the valley for a few weeks. I want to pull away, and observe. Morning runs through the rustling, frozen underbrush.

Not to be talked to. Talked at. Fixed.

I want to reemerge into a world of details that have worked out their individual spats, sighed with relief, and gotten on with it all.
Without my well-intentioned interference.

I know these feelings are familiar to you. But that is no comfort to me this morning. I fear that when the sun comes I will whir and whir, and never leave the ground. I have a too diffuse list of intentions.

When did you feel you made a difference? Not as in crossed a threshold, but the moments?

From the pop culture gurus, you’d get the impression that no one was concerned about purpose until now. Or you’d think they are resurrecting an ancient truth, forgotten for generations. But it’s true that we all play out the ancient truths, isn’t it? We are all Icarus. Every generation, with something to prove to their fathers. Their mothers. It’s up to us to reinvent the world. It never seems to work out as planned. We try too hard. We forget to listen. We start fresh.

Every once in a while, I have a moment of clarity where I see how odd I am – that I am the unreliable narrator in a kind of pastiche post-modern short story.  It’s a curious moment of disconnection, and not at all what the Buddhists have in mind, I’m sure.

I believe you wrote that self-loathing was a form of self-indulgence. It is not a useful activity. Is it useful to be a white noise hum in the noisy world right now?

I have letters to write in these dark, early morning hours. This will do for now.






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