My pipe is out, my glass is dry;
My fire is almost ashes too;
But once again, before you go,
And I prepare to meet the New:
Old Year! a parting word that’s true,
For we’ve been comrades, you and I –
I thank God for each day of you;
There! bless you now! Old Year, good-bye!
–Robert William Service, The Passing of the Year
I thank God for each day of 2012. But today, I say hello to 2013.
Last night as I was drifting off to sleep with the pop, bang, boom of our neighbor’s fireworks, I was thinking about the night creatures. What do they think about this silly human tradition of setting fire to the sky at night?
Where do the owls go
when you set the sky on fire
with your loud, booming works?
Drowning out the who of my nighttime friend,
you celebrate intolerably, sending flares,
screaming as if chased by a bee.
This noise just can’t be right.
Where did the owls go tonight?
Over at Two Writing Teachers, New Year’s Day Slices of Life are being collected. We have been challenged not to set New Year’s resolutions, but to select One Little Word to live by this year. This has been a challenge for me because it’s not really a word that I want, but an attitude. I want to value my work, whatever that work may be. I want to see it as significant to the greater good. But I want to be gentle with myself at the same time. So this year, my one little word is acceptance.
In William Zinsser’s book On Writing Well, he speaks of the audience for your writing: “It is a fundamental question with a fundamental answer; you are writing for yourself. Entertain yourself. You are who you are, so relax and say what you want to say.” So, to whoever is reading today, I am here on Jan. 1, 2013 to declare a new attitude. Acceptance!