“Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering, ‘It will be happier.’” - Past Sydney circa 1950s
There are two - dva - GIs Gitka and Gabbie in the Bohemian world, speaking of Cold War - via a warrior - 29 incredible close-ups of snowflakes shot with a homemade camera rig Business Insider
Something is about to be.
Tonight’s December Thirty-First,
Something is about to burst.
The clock is crouching, dark and small,
Like a time bomb in the hall.Hark! It’s midnight, children dear.Duck! Here comes another year.
- Wishful Jozef Imrich after (via fonetik Havel Avenue) Sparkling Pinot Noir
“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something. So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make your mistakes, next year and forever.”
To begin, begin ...
~ William Wordsworth (What Did WW mean ... what the quote literally says: to start something, you must actively engage it. It means that sometimes the hardest step is the first one, but you need the courage and will to be able to take it. What Wordsworth said is as simple as that, yet the action itself is much more difficult when you think about it which is why it is such a well-known quote...
In my circle, New Year’s Eve was known as Amateur’s Night, the one time each year when hobbyist drinkers indulged in what they imagined was depraved Bacchanalia. It was a grim spectacle. I remember one Dec. 31 in Boston seeing half a dozen women leaning against the wall in an alley, all moaning and vomiting, and it wasn’t yet midnight. Proficient drinking, as with writing sonnets or mastering Chopin’s etudes, calls for discipline and years of practice. Now I stay home and wake up without a hangover. In his first collection, Dying: An Introduction (1968), L.E. Sissman includes a sequence of four sonnets, “The Tree Warden.” The third is “December Thirty-First”:
“The days drew in this fall with infinite art,
Making minutely earlier the stroke
Of night each evening, muting what awoke
Us later every morning: the red heart
“Of sun. December's miniature day
Is borne out on its stretcher to be hung,
Dim, minor, and derivative, among
Great august canvases now locked away.
“Opposed to dated day, the modern moon
Comes up to demonstrate its graphic skill:
Laying its white-on-white on with a will,
Its backward prism makes a monotone.
“In the New Year, night after night will wane;
Color will conquer; art will be long again.”
That’s a Senecan spirit of hopefulness I can live with, especially coming from Sissman, who died much too soon, of cancer, at age forty-eight. For readers, the memorable death of 2016 was Geoffrey Hill’s. The leading poet of the age died June 30 at age eight-four. In the seventh section of Clavics (Enitharmon Press, 2011), he too reminds us that “art will be long again”:
“The enabling reader, the recusant
At my fingertips, for whom I write well
Into my scant-
Taking its toll
Much like saxifrage
Breaking a cold war wall”