Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.
–“Ring Out, Wild Bells,” From In Memoriam
Like Janus, the double-faced Roman god of doors and gates and beginnings and endings, I find myself looking back at the past year and forward to the year to come. This year I’ve become more aware of my own mortality. I’ve spent many hours reflecting upon the good and the bad in my life. Over the past year, I’ve tried to appreciate all the good things in my life, especially my family and friends.
As Tennyson directed, I’ve tried to ring out the false and ring in what is true to me.
I can’t eliminate the noxious jeremiads that dominate politics in the United States right now. I can’t end all wars and bring world peace. I can’t keep all women safe from men who want to beat, rape, and mutilate them, and who want to deny them education and rights.
But–I can keep my own words civil and listen to the ideas of others. I can hold back anger and passion to use when they are necessary and warranted.
I can give aid and assistance to women and organizations that help women. I can promote education and the arts. . .because knowledge is power, and music, art, and literature nourish the soul.
I am a writer. I can write.
Happy New Year! May 2013 bring all of you health, happiness, and peace.