Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Once upon a Midnight Dreary

As I write this, it's closing in on midnight and the last little dregs of 2008 are winding down. The house is quiet. Kids are sleeping. The dog and cat are in their respective beds, dreaming dog and cat things. My wife has been upstairs sleeping already for the past hour or so.

I just came in from being outside and saw a sliver of moon and Orion's Belt are right where they're supposed to be. It's windy outside tonight. A blustery cold that hits you like a gut punch, almost as if the spirits next door are restless.

I know the feeling. I'm restless too.

2008. What a fucking year. Part of me is excited about 2009. Part of me has that old feeling of an open slate waiting to be filled. But that other part, the one I keep hidden back in the shadows? That part of me is scared shitless at what's to come.

Apparently karma, the great Divine, or whatever you want to call it decided 2008 was a year of hard knocks. Lessons and wisdom gleaned by the blunt force of a hammer rather than the delicate guidance of a patient teacher.

I've learned that just because you can't see the weeds growing in your garden, don't be lulled into thinking they're not growing where you can't see; where you don't want them to be, and eventually they'll come to light and you have to deal with them.

I learned that wishing might not be a foolish endeavor, but seeing your wishes wither and drift off like dust in the wind really sucks. And no matter how much you might want something, just wishin' ain't gonna make it so. For the record, I still throw out a few wishes once in a while.

I thought about risks I should've taken. Actions I should've done. Instances where I should have seized the moment but didn't because I was either too afraid or I held too high a court in my own head to go through with. That's going to change for me in 2009, courage, rejection or failure be damned. I'll deal with the fall out later.

I guess they're right when they say it's things you don't do, that you regret the most later on.

Life is short... what are you going to do about it? In the words of The Shawshank Redemption's Brooks, Get busy living or get busy dying.

This year I've seen ghosts come back to haunt me that I thought were long dead. Some have even taken up residence in my house and right now I can't help but see them every day.

We all stumble. We all fall. Yet I know my circle of friends will be there to catch me when I do. I hope like hell they have enough faith in me to realize I'll always be there when they do too.

Sometimes the muse takes a vacation and it sucks the size of Montana, and when it comes back, though the words are sweeter because of it all, that shit's not like riding a bike. You remember how to do it, but you still need training wheels to find your way for a while.

I've learned you can sometimes feel like the loneliest person in the world in a crowded party or a shared office. You can also feel your heart bursting at the seams with a few well-chosen words or a familiar shared expression.

My walls are sky-fucking-high right now for many reasons. Mostly it's self-preservation and I'm sure some of that will be revealed here in time. Even so, there are some of you who know how to wriggle your way beneath the nice, pretty foundations I've built.

I've learned that tattoos you put on your arm or your wrist, pale in comparison to the marks you put on your soul as reminders.

That person you greet in the mirror each morning and each night? Ask them questions - hard ones - and answer back as truthfully as you can. You'll be better off in the long run if you do, believe me.

A clean slate. Breathe in, breathe out. Feels exciting, like the first warm day you can wear a t-shirt. New. Unblemished.

Every day should feel like this. Every day can feel like this.

On TV, the fireworks are going off. Times Square is crowded with drunk partygoers of every walk of life. Part of me wishes I was there among the throngs, sharing in that wave of exuberance and atmosphere they all seem to be bathing in with their smiling faces and half-lidded expressions.

And part of me thinks I'm right where I belong. Here with you, my laptop feeling like a heater against my thighs, writing a little love note to usher in 2009.

Yeah. Somehow I think I'm right where I belong.

But 2009's gonna be better right?

Dancing with the devil 'round a fire.
Mess your mama's bed for a little more magic.
Make you wanna run around naked,
'cause you know it looks good on you.
But you ain't never had my corn bread.
A little bit of heaven and a little bit of hell yeah.
Cut it down the middle, open wide and jump right in.

- Dave Matthews Band - Cornbread

This year, you're gonna try my cornbread all right. A little bit of heaven and a little bit of hell yeah.

You'll see.

Be good. Glad you made it here another year with me.

P.S. Oh... and wear sunscreen. =)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was assured by a dear friend that odd-numbered years are 'better'. I could use some pick-me-ups as well. Here's to 2009!

9:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

May this new year bring us both many blessings and softer lessons. My resolution ... to stay out of the way of my own success.

And as long as you are writing, you are always right where you belong.

12:00 PM  
Blogger Am said...

"When I heard. When I heard that 09 was a comin, I was like FUCK YA!" lol. Bring it!!!

6:17 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

graveyardwalker: Here Here! And I damn sure hope odd years are better.

RossoRaven: Great resolution... and I know... I know.

Am: BWAAAAHAHAHAHAHAAHA! FUCK YA is RIGHT... in ohhhh so many ways. =)

6:47 PM  

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