The Overview of Burning Hearts 2020

And a very domestic start to the year.

Last night we spent the evening with good friends. We lit sparkler hearts and toasted with champagne as the calendar flipped. And I was introduced to a New Year’s tradition: 12 grapes. One for each month – 12 wishes for the coming year.

After enough food to tide me over the rest of the week, and enough wine to make it difficult to concentrate – what I remember – in no particular order:

  1. Ease. (Let it be, Let it be…)
  2. Health.
  3. Beauty (not my own, but seeking it in all things).
  4. Nature.
  5. Relationships.
  6. Partnership.
  7. An “ease-y” approach to work (“Work is what you do for other’s, Baby. Art is what you do for yourself.”)
  8. Art.
  9. Playfulness.
  10. Quiet attention.
  11. Stories.
  12. Acceptance.

img_20200101_110717-02561009062394214160.jpegSomeone on twitter was worried about turning 30 in 2020. And she asked what “big things” people accomplished after 30.

Over 50, my big thing is realizing that the big things don’t matter as much as I expected.

What I wish for would be a muddled venn diagram, interlocking rings, nested containers.

I am a Russian Doll. I am one big thing. Unaccomplished.

The really beautiful things in life might be discovered only when we allow our focus to drift  – from what we thought we were here for.

Improvisation is saying yes. And then looking for the openings, escapes, alternatives out of the corners of our eyes. There is so much to be said for deviating from one’s own “yes” with a “this, too”. Doing it with ease – without an awkward pinch of panic –  takes practice.

In 2020 I wish to be immersed in my own life. And have the wisdom to recognize its potential as more than a curriculum vitae: My life’s work is not my life’s art. And, well, if work is for others, it would follow it would be for others to define from their own perspectives.

I ran an art gallery for a while and found that the work I liked immediately, was the work I quickly grew bored with. It was the work that sparked ambivalence in me that would fascinate me. Unresolved experiences provide a unique kind of satisfaction. It requires participation and a kind of dialogue with the bigger world.

So today, the beginning of an arbitrarily-defined new year, a new decade, I am fine.

Mr. Rogers instructed us look for the helpers. He knew that so much of the beauty in the world goes unnoticed. It’s our work to create the story – a true story is always complex. And a true-life-affirming story is applied art.

A two-fer. A nested doll.

The immersed experience so much more than the overview.


And now a new year’s run, while the chicken cooks. It is surprisingly satisfying to begin the year with the smell of raw bell peppers. 

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