All is quiet on New Year’s Day

1 01 2014

I know how to leave.

A job, a city, a relationship: I can book it with a handshake, a grin, a fare-thee-well, and I’m gone.

I also know how to deal with the run-up. I like rehearsals and planning and while packing is an enormous pain in the tuchus, I’m pretty good with the clearing out and stashing away.

All of this is to say is that I prefer the eves to the day (and not just because I’m a night person). It is the time before that I’m accustomed to, and the anticipation that I enjoy. I’m not bothered by endings—I know everything ends—and, against much of my own agoniste sensibilities, I take the view “it’s done; let’s go”.

Beginnings, on the other hand, I’m not so great at. You’d think that I can end because I know what comes next, but the coming-next is the burden, not the gift, of the ending.

New Year’s Eve? So long and farewell. New Year’s Day?

Oh shit, another year.

But let us take a more poetic look at the back and the forth; from Agha Shahid Ali’s A Fate’s Brief Memoir:


There between the planets the cobwebs thicken
Depart now. Spiders look for my heart lest
I forget the final wreck of all that’s human.

Farewell—and if thou livest or diest!
What poverty lets death exert its affluence?
The earth will receive you, poor honored guest,

and I minding my threadbare subsistence—
poor host who could offer you nothing. What brocades
spun from gasps I tear to polish our instruments. . .

threads searchlit, the universe dazzled, burnished blades. . .
Feel a new sun pounding—Dear Heart, this once!
See the famished sighs I’ll lock into braids.

Don’t forget this sight when by desolate chance
from your breath Belovéd! this evening fades.