2017 — you were a hard year. It seems as if you put all the things on the line and then took a steamroller to them. And while we are certainly worse for the wear — cracks and fissures in our humanity and our democracy — we have also proven our strength and our resilience. My sincerest hope for 2018 is that it resembles the Phoenix which rose from the ashes to take flight and soar.
Following the advice of Karen Wolrond, of Chookooloonks, I have been peeking through all the pictures I took this past year. She promised if we did that, we’d find a bounty of blessings in a year we thought was everything gone wrong. Sure enough, I did. Scattered among all the pictures of family vacations, gathering of friends, and classroom lessons in action — which were all crazy good! — are the photographs I’ve taken of my involvement in the resistance.
It’s been a year of protest — and also of building. My pictures are a reminder that even when I’ve been scared — and sometimes more so when I have been — I find strength and resolve, resilience and light. I’ve learned that my efforts at building bridges, while small in the scheme of the world at large, are helpful and have created positive change. We’ve seen that change doesn’t always happen in hallowed halls but rather in cozy living rooms and neighborhood coffee shops. Change happens out on the street, in our neighborhoods. Change happens right there, in the dust heap of life.
So 2017 — you were a mess, to be sure, but there were many rays of light, too. 2018, if you’re listening: We’ve built a mighty tall ash pile around which we are holding on to each other. Rise out of those ashes ’18, and we’ll be the wind beneath your wings (to borrow a little cliche — because no time is better for cliche than ushering in a New Year). It’s time for all of us to soar.
I’ll leave you with one of my very favorite Leonard Cohen lyrics, perfect for today (and always):
Ring the bells (ring the bells) that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything (there is a crack in everything)
That’s how the light gets in.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!