Happy New Year, everyone.
Today begins the sixth full year in which I’ve been blogging.
During that time my focus has shifted from writing about books to a space to experiment with writing and to share content of a more personal nature.
The past few years I’ve had a theme that’s anchored the year for some, but not all, of my posts.
In 2012 it was Sources of Joy.
Last year I began with Meaningful Matters and ended up writing more than 100 posts in my Chilean Chronicles series.
I’ve not yet fully decided about this year, and I”m thinking about The Moment Between.
By that I mean the place where we all live: the present moment.
The space between the past and the present, between what has come before and what lies ahead-on some very basic level, between life and death.
It is the place where we always are.
Yet at times, at least for me, it can be difficult to feel myself fully living in that space.
That can happen because we spend a lot of mental energy thinking about what has come before and what lies ahead.
But there’s a paradox.
I have found that some of my richest moments of appreciation and positive feeling and, more basically, of feeling alive have come from savoring all that has led up to the present moment and imagining and anticipating what can and will follow.
The meaning of our time in Chile was heightened by my memory of having applied four times over the course of 13 years before receiving the simple email last February that informed me of my acceptance as well as by the images of what we could do there that Dunreith and I gradually converted into real experiences.
Our family’s trip to Germany meant that much more because of having wanted to go to Dad’s hometown for so many years and because of the deliciously unknown, yet organically advancing direction of where that project is leading.
Completing the book about learning from Paul Tamburello felt so rewarding both because we had first discussed it more than a dozen years earlier and because it represented the latest manifestation of a relationship that began in the early 70s and has taken many different forms in the four decades since. That the completion suggested that, having done so, we could decide what else we could do and where we might want to go with that project and our connection only added another layer of meaning.
I want to explore the balance and tension between, on the one hand, being as open as possible to what is happening in front of us right now while at the same time having a multi-layered appreciation of the elements, people, emotions and factors that have contributed to make what is happening possible and the future visions that animate and anchor our subsequent steps.
I’ve learned over time that themes are like clothes; some fit better than others.
Sources of Joy was snug and molded right to my body and soul, Meaningful Matters far less so.
For me, one of the pleasures and the power of having a theme is that it’s helped me integrate a practice of writing, reflection and daily living.
In other words, by thinking and writing about Sources of Joy, I felt more joyful.
I don’t know how this will feel, or if I’ll change it up.
I do know that it’s calling me now.
I also know that, as always, I’m looking forward to the writing, to the dialogue and to savoring the past, anticipating the future and living in the present.
Happy 2014, everyone.