New Year’s…..already growing old(er)

This time of year, or the end of the last, tends to give one pause.  We get all caught up in Auld Lang Syne, that is until the daily grindedness of the activities of the new year takes us back down to survival mode.  The shiny glitter of the holidays doesn’t seem to last very long, and nothing is as over as Christmas and the season’s greetings, gone flat all too soon.  To still be saying Happy New Year as late as the 5th of January sounds like yesterday’s news, already gone stale and lifeless.  Time to get back to the 24/7 news cycle and hear what latest dread is in store for us.  And there’s always a fresh pile of it.

I just looked up Auld Lang Syne, as I am wont to do when I throw these things out, and want to know exactly what it is that I and we are talking about.  Turns out it’s times long past, or for old time’s sake.  Dangerous territory, if you ask me.  You can get all caught up in those long lost times, and spend more of your precious (and becoming ever more limited by the moment) todays, and fill your plate or your cup with a heaping helping of What Was.  Then you can go back for seconds of If Onlies.  Waste of time.  TIME.

I sat here a couple of days ago and started Googling and Facebook searching old names from my past, even as far back as high school days.  I am far removed from those days, by distance but even more so by the life directions I have taken.  I wasn’t close to so many even then, being already some brand of Different, choosing to run with the few instead of the many, and definitely not of the In Crowd variety.  There were some even more High Lonesome types than I, but they were about on the fringe.  Big cities swallow me up, and then I came to a huge university that completed the Lost in the Crowd process, and I foundered.  According to the dictionary, I also floundered at the same time, evidently an easily accomplished feat.  No wonder I am drawn now to small towns in the West, with vast skies and fewer people.

There were a couple of personalities that highlighted my high school days.  My girlfriend and I happened to date a couple of brothers, twins, who were actually more in the happening ranking of the hierarchy.  I’m sure I felt out of my league, but it was exciting to dip my toe in the deep end of the social class system.  They were even football players – a large deal if you cared about such things.  One was credibly handsome, the other not so much , but ever more entertaining in personality.  Both my girlfriend and I liked the “fun” one, but I got him, and she the handsome hunk.  It lasted only a few weeks, those giddy double dates, but everyone moved on rapidly, and the fun guy settled in on another girl for his steady, and my friend went on to college, being a year ahead of me.  High School – horrible place.

OK then, flash forward a few decades.  The fun guy, the one we both liked, is dead now, having drunk himself to death as I understand it.  One or more marriages, and an inglorious end.  I believe I tracked down, more or less, the debonair half of the twinship, who actually showed a lack of character even back then.  There was a sleazy picture of him on Facebook, all slick looking with sunglasses, essentially unrecognizable, but no further information.  The only other thing that came up was complaints filed against him in public notice as a warning regarding his unscrupulous business methods, in the family business which I suppose he carried on.  Bad news all around.  And sad.  Isn’t it interesting, the lives we inflict upon ourselves.

I’m not sure what is the point of all this rumination.  It was interesting to see what had happened to those lives which had seemed so all-important at the time.  And hasn’t each successive life chapter seemed equally the BE ALL and END ALL of that then current moment.  And then Time and we ourselves move on, and it’s all swept away, like the letters we write in the sand on the beach.  There, and gone, but for memories that sometimes beguile us with false, or rose colored interpretations.  Thank the Fates for the things that we are able to forget, finally.  Or at least deal with under the auspices of  Truth.

I’m firmly planted in the Now, but keep poking sticks into the swirling ethers of the future, wondering What’s Next.  I’m done with investing any more energy into the past, having learned way too many lessons with that little exercise.  But I do hang on to the Lessons, as needed, to leaven the memories, lest I gild them into something they weren’t, or end up worshiping the gilded statues, so to speak.  There are indeed parts of the past that we need to honor – the true heroes, our teachers, those who made a positive difference.  It seems to be one of those Homily Things, (“a tedious, moralizing discourse”), that our yesterdays were more fully and genuinely felt, (if we were into feeling and real communication), compared to our fast paced Today that is based on Too Much Worthless Information delivered SO FAST and so constantly, that it loses meaning and credibility.  And after all, anybody can say anything on the internet.  (You’re reading it right now!)  It’s up to us to pick and choose wisely our teachers, our confidants and role models, and we have to learn to trust our own system of enlightenment – or develop one!  Sometimes we have nothing more to go on than our own experience, and hopefully we will have learned something from the exercise.  And to become a little, or a lot more judicious in our choices.  Finger in the Fan Time, folks – simple as that.  Yet for some, we seem never to learn.  Or Hope Springs Eternal, until you have to let that Hope thing go.  (Queenie went on quite eloquently about that in the book, her most heartfelt offering therein.)

Maybe all this is some sort of a New Year’s Greeting, though it seems tempered in caution and temperance itself, instead of ribald merriment.  While I know to embrace Joy, I seem to be more than a little invested in a way of LIVING that nurtures Joy, instead of the gloom and doom that surrounds us at every turn.  I think I need to be informed, but I feel inundated by too much information from those on the “news” who would provide me with it.  Despite what I’ve just written about living in the past, I think I’d rather have a dose of the “olds.”  I’d rather seek communion with those redbirds, which are proving to be very capricious in their willingness to be photographed.  Other than getting my own nest in order, I wish to spend my time celebrating those redbirds.  And wonder of wonders, the unbelievable singing tree frogs of winter are chorusing once again, and I have to say I’d forgotten about them since I heard them for the very first time last winter.  They were a new addition out here last year, after almost twenty years on the property, and they’re back!  Singing from the trees in winter!  It’s wonderful, and seemingly impossible, but I’ll take it.  I’ll take the clear blue skies of winter, but they are trading headlines back and forth with cold and wet, and I hear we’re in for a real dose of it next week.  Better gather in that firewood I’ve been talking about.

I’m all over the place here.  And that’s alright, too.  Take it for what you will.  Soon I’ll put up the images of those Cardinals – I swear!  Red on Green – I must have it.  And so shall you, too.

Happy New Year, even if it’s late.  Still and all, it’s only early January, and that New Year’s baby should still be in his diapers.  Not time for knickers till at least March, and then I shall be pondering Spring.  But not yet.  Maybe next week I shall be photographing icicles, or snow, or those redbirds!

Marauder 

Sparroons

Teaser

Peace, y’all.

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One Response to “New Year’s…..already growing old(er)”

  1. Cheryl Ehrmann Says:

    Thank you for your beautiful words Lexi….the last two weeks of 2010 were quite a challenge for me, but I am looking forward to better things in 2011!! I am slowly catching up on reading your blog. Your booth at the art show was lovely. Love the pics of your dogs and your beautiful Queen Mum! I always feel at peace after I read your words and look at your photos. That might sound corny, but I guess I’m like that song from South Pacific…”I’m as corny as Kansas in August”!! Thanks again for sharing your talents with us…looking forward to your future writings!

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