The arrival of January 1st, 2021 affords us each the chance to straighten the curves, to flatten the bumps and to set the course ahead. It is a remarkably inspiring opening and one which notwithstanding its traditional drama and poetry – including perhaps the remorseful recovery from an aching head or upset stomach arising from last night’s reverie and intended consolation – is still worth the while even if incalculable. What better prescription than a new drug to start the new year! It is as much a product of hope as incentive.
Relying on others – specifically the medical community – is the usual source of guidance in matters of pain relief. In this annual trek however the treatment is strictly personal. There will naturally be those who propose to inform you what is to be done to palliate your past and to re-engineer your future. It is a wasteful project on both sides. For our part we have initiated the trajectory by bicycling – albeit cautiously on the sometimes icy roads – for a short while this morning in the dim grey atmosphere and raw damp air. Though we tried cycling on the erstwhile railway line it proved too dangerous to risk, marked by collections of crystal snow and tiny sheets of perilous ice arranged like glass shards upon the underlying gravel and dust. We settled instead upon circling about the neighbourhood on the roadways. Once we paused to chat with a tall distinguished gentlemen whom we know and with his equally vibrant young daughter whose evident gusto for living and natural beauty was as penetrating as the frosty air which reddened her cheeks. To several others whom we passed while they walked on the sidewalk or puttered in the yard with their curious little white dog we gleefully waved and shared mutual exchanges of Happy New Year, itself a mark of culmination and new beginnings.
I would be lying if I didn’t acknowledge we have indeed real ambition for the new year. The spark is not confined to youth. Historically I may have snapped my fingers at the common and often apologetic absorption, but it is very much on the table this new year. Like most things of any successful report in my entire life, these resolutions of which I speak are fashioned primarily upon what I already know is workable and palatable – which is to say, easy. As much as it reeks of facility, the calculation is bred of the clarity of sunlight and incontrovertible simplicity. It matters not what are the theses, for they are but the inconsequential ideals of an old dog who knows when to go for his walk, where to lie near the fireplace for comfort and whose hand it is that feeds.
What then you may ask is the novelty of the remedy? There are two ways to go down a river; viz., you either know where to go or where not to go. Hence the former accommodation of what in the past works best. We’re not about to discover anything new – least of all if one such as I is beyond the scope of youthful territory. This is yet another reason it works – because we already have it within us to know what we prefer to recall and perhaps re-activate. It is a percolating disturbance at worst; or a commanding mission at best. It further aligns with the commonly expounded assertion to listen to one’s instincts and its corollary to believe what one sees. It is after all axiomatic that the branch of the tree extends from its seed.
The relief of the drug may at first be the benefit of temporary presence only. Ingenuity and invigoration are sometimes no more dynamic than an afternoon nap. Just put oneself even ephemerally beyond the thread or anchor. Nature’s cause is invariably the constitution of its fruit. It is a quiet development; that is, not contaminated by demonstration or loudness or constrained by other exhausting proportions. Purity is a polished process, slow and repetitive. And a determined one!
Studies show that America is getting more diverse and minorities are already a powerful voting bloc, so Republicans will likely need new strategies going ahead.