As the sun breaks through clouds
And shines on wet new fallen snow,
And breathe the new air.
So much has died that had to die this year.
We are dying away from things.
It is a necessity—we have to do it
Or we shall be buried under the magazines,
The too many clothes, the too much food.
We have dragged it all around
Like dung beetles
Who drag piles of dung
Behind them on which to feed,
In which to lay their eggs.
Let us step outside for a moment
Among ocean, clouds, a white field,
Islands floating in the distance.
They have always been there.
But we have not been there.
We are going to drive slowly
And see the small poor farms,
The lovely shapes of leafless trees
Their shadows blue on the snow.
We are going to learn the sharp edge
Of perception after a day’s fast.
There is nothing to fear.
About this revolution…
Though it will change our minds.
Aggression, violence, machismo
Are fading from us
Like old photographs
(Did a man actually step like a goose
To instill fear?
Does a boy have to kill
To become a man?)
Already there are signs.
Young people plant gardens.
Fathers change their babies’ diapers
And are learning to cook.
Let us step outside for a moment.
It is all there
Only we have been slow to arrive
At a way of seeing it.
Unless the gentle inherit the earth
There will be no earth.
~ by May Sarton from Collected Poems.
Copyright Norton, 1993. Reprinted with permission.
2016. The year has felt largely difficult and heart-breaking, especially as it came to a close. The terrible tragedies and crises around the world have left me weary with the weight of it all. Sometimes, it feels like it’s too much to bear – a world that I no longer wish to live in. Coupled with a sense of purposelessness post-graduation, the latter half of 2016 has been a personal struggle for me.
But I can’t forget that the year also held many significant milestones and beautiful memories – ones that I’m extremely grateful for and ones that I tend to forget too often.
Graduation in May. Afternoons in a favourite coffee shop reading poetry. A summer spent in Breckenridge playing concerts and hiking the Rockies, pretty blissfully unaware of the outside world. Time spent in both NYC and LA. Exploring new places in Denver and being near the mountains again. Writing letters to friends and journaling whenever possible. Discovering that I really enjoy teaching music.
- In many of my Christmas cards to friends, I wrote about change.
I wrote that this year brought about change, and that next year promises even more.
I wrote that change can be good, necessary even.
I wrote that I need change in my life too.
But I also noted that some things are special because they do not change: certain friendships in my life that are wonderfully constant and have even grown stronger over time, the desire to create something beautiful and meaningful in this world, the chance to have our work make a difference in someone’s life.
I believe that these are constants. Or should be, at least.
So, for 2017, I’m going to keep on keeping on. I hope to change the things that are necessary to change and to embrace the things that are constants. I wish you the same for 2017.