Friday, January 01, 2010


I woke to great, fluffy flakes of snow gently falling this morning. The snow people write poems to sing about—the kind that falls amidst a sky that's managing to be a cheerful sort of grey. Playing through my head, for some reason, was the Glee cover of "You Can't Always Get What You Want."

It got me wondering, what is it about New Year's Day? It is just that it offers what we all want after a year that's ground us down and left us feeling empty—a new beginning? A fresh start. The canvas back again to paint a better future, because this time we'll get it right.

2009, for me, felt about three years long. My young adult manuscript went on submission to eight editors in late February. December passed without a response from any of them.

10 months of silence. 10 months of waiting. 10 months of hope growing weary, starved and forced to make weapons of paving stones while doubt after doubt tried to breech the walls. The last 3 months were spent feeling utterly powerless and trapped. A situation that's neither pleasant nor conductive to being a productive, creative person.

I didn't blog about it, because I was ashamed. Frightened that speaking about it would mean admitting that perhaps I was handcuffed to a most spectacular failure. By no means am I suggesting that no one else struggled and kicked their way through the 2009. Many of us did. Fighting our own battles against circumstances not entirely of our making.

I think that's why 2010 seems so significantly important. It has nothing to do with decades ending or a countdown to when Mayan Elder Gods return to eat the Earth. It has to do with a social consciousness desperate for some kind of do-over. A rest from this year that seemed so much longer than 12 months.

Along comes 2010: A sparkling, beautiful, perfect new year. The best gift anyone could ask for.

The song says you can't always get what you want. But somewhere around September, I realized that I don't know what I want anymore. Because what I thought I wanted has never felt so frustratingly out of reach. Dangling there long past the point of this fox declaring the grapes are probably sour.

Now, here's a lovely January first. All sunshine on the snow and white mountains and the kind of winter day that people sing about in the places where it never really snows the real, mean, cold snow. It makes me feel forgiving.

Like I can offer a do-over. A rollback. Set that counter to zero and start anew. Believe again that it will happen, it is happening, it has already happened.

If nothing else, I hope this darling little year can do that for you. Because—like the song says—if you try, sometimes you get what you need.


John Evans said...

Man, "Cheerful Sort of Grey" is such a wonderful phrase. I should rename my blog that, or something.

Happy New Year!

Chandra Rooney said...

There was an unusual quality of light due to the cloud cover. So the sky was a very watery, light grey but it was bright instead dreary.

Ethanael said...
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