2016 went out with clinking glasses, a lot of hugging, and me, suddenly weeping into my dear dad’s neck as he gently patted my back.
I didn’t expect this sudden rush of emotions, anger–and then sorrow. We were playing Rummikub, laughing our butts off as my sister threw words at me between our turns, one at a time, demanding I come up with a song for each. I nailed pebble.
I’ll put a pebble in my shoe, and watch me walk, I can walk and walk… from By My Side, the lament at the end of Stephen Schwartz’s Godspell. Which she remembered, because as kids, we loved this show and harmonized, all three of us girls, on the tunes.
If Mary could walk with a pebble, I can climb mountains, run marathons, scale walls with the box of rocks (as my friend Leslie likes to intone) nesting in my hoofers of this past year.
2016 went out with sudden dark intensity and death. Many deaths. Of many kinds. Some big, some small, some personal–right next door. Someone started a Gofundme to ensure Betty White keep breathing until 2017. [I whispered this under my breath thinking of my dad, nearing 86, and slowing down these recent months.]
There is no Gofundme for living a life. For staying alive. For turning your head to the sun and away from darkness no matter what’s blocking the view. Actually, there’s no insurance. Of anything. There’s just walking. One step at a time, one foot in front of the other. [Oh, man, have to give a shout out to Herbie the Dentist singing to Rudolph.]
Here’s the good news, the amazing news: whatever I have carried this year has not weighed me down. It has buoyed me, lifted me, supported the flight. And by flying, I don’t mean away. I mean to. My work. Jan. The center of my whole self. Art.
I choose to keep moving. To walk. On whichever path comes and says, here. Right here. I wish you the same. Happy Trails.