Josef Madlener, Das blaue Licht

I went to bed at 9:30 on New Year’s Eve last night. Why not? We had no party, no guests, no one to please but ourselves, and we were sleepy after a few sips of sake and big bowls of sour, spicy kimchi stew.

I awoke in the darkness this morning, unable to sleep any longer. I read some poetry and finished a project. I had intended to finish seaming the toes on a pair of socks that I had been working on (and hoped to finish in the last hours of 2021, but it’s just a few stitches, so whatever.)

Wenzel Hablik, Crystal Castle in the Sea, 1914

We greeted the dawn by the ocean with hot coffees and watched a woman in a long white dress and a guzheng posing for a photographer in the sand as the tide rolled out. Now the day is ours. I am tidying my office and making plans and marveling at my new computer set up, a gift from my sweetie of inconceivable technological magics which allows me to store my work and personal laptops out of sight and switch between the two on this one enormous screen! It’s much bigger than it looks in this photo!

I don’t have any resolutions for 2022. I don’t think I even have any goals. Just keep doing my best, I suppose.

I do have some thoughts on the energy I want to bring with me this year. The gorgeous brilliance of these two paintings, above, is endlessly inspiring to me to live beautifully (I don’t always know what that means, and it’s a sentiment that’s always changing) and I think this beloved and oft-revisited poem by Mary Oliver, below, captures the spirit of wonder and active compassion that I want to wake up and walk with throughout the oncoming days.

I want to continually be dazzled. By the world and the light and the mysteries–and all of the flaws and imperfections, too.

The Ponds (Mary Oliver)

Every year
the lilies
are so perfect
I can hardly believe

their lapped light crowding
the black,
mid-summer ponds.
Nobody could count all of them —

the muskrats swimming
among the pads and the grasses
can reach out
their muscular arms and touch

only so many, they are that
rife and wild.
But what in this world
is perfect?

I bend closer and see
how this one is clearly lopsided —
and that one wears an orange blight —
and this one is a glossy cheek

half nibbled away —
and that one is a slumped purse
full of its own
unstoppable decay.

Still, what I want in my life
is to be willing
to be dazzled —
to cast aside the weight of facts

and maybe even
to float a little
above this difficult world.
I want to believe I am looking

into the white fire of a great mystery.
I want to believe that the imperfections are nothing —
that the light is everything — that it is more than the sum
of each flawed blossom rising and fading. And I do.

f you would like to support this blog, consider buying the author a coffee?

Honeygoth says

Thanks for sharing this…I feel all these things. Wishing you much dazzlement and everything mysterious this year!

S. Elizabeth says

Thank you! And all of those same, shimmering wishes right back at you! <3

Emera says

Thank you for this beautiful, hope-filled post!

There's nothing quite so motivating as a freshly tidied desk. I hope you have many wonderful hours there this year.

Add Comment

Your comment will be revised by the site if needed.

Discover more from Unquiet Things

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading