Monday, January 21, 2013

Today is President Barak Obama's second Inauguration Day. Today is Martin Luther King Day. Today I should be thinking deep thoughts and sharing my insight on the monumental nature of this moment.

But I'll leave that to others. Lots and lots of others.

Today I am thinking about the library I just unloaded from my office closet. Today I am thinking about the boxes and stacks of science fiction and fantasy books I am getting ready to send out into the world.

I moved many boxes of books to this house 10 years ago. Half have moved on. But none that lived in the closet, the ones nearest to my heart, the ones that opened my eyes to worlds and realities I had never considered. Some of those worlds were vast and mind-boggling in their differences, populated by folks just like us. Others were only a hair's-breadth akimbo, and yet that tiny shift caused earthquakes and avalanches in societies so different from ours that they left us forever changed, on guard against any hint of their existence coming to light.

Like "Nineteen Eighty-Four."
Like "Brave New World."

My old, dusty, yellowed and faded babies, you hold many of my lives : "I, Robot," "Catch 22," "Crome Yellow," "Fahrenheit 451, "The Others," "Greener than you Think," "Grass," "A Canticle for Liebowitz," "Stranger in a Strange Land," "Ringworld," "Dune," "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep," "A Wrinkle in Time," "Mists of Avalon," "The Handmaid's Tale," "Ender's Game," "Planiverse," "Flowers for Algernon," "Lord of the Rings" (two sets), "Foundation Trilogy," "The Stand," "A Clockwork Orange," "Watership Down," "The Belgariad," "The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever," "Wicked," "The Crystal Cave."

And 150 Analog and Science Fiction, Science Fact magazines circa 1988-1993.

There is one shelf full of those I still cannot let go: "Slaughterhouse Five," and all other Kurt Vonnegut works. "The Hitchiker's Guide to the Universe," and all other Douglas Addams works.

To the rest, I let them go with love. It's a little sad to say goodbye, but they haven't been touched in a decade.

It is time for other hands to hold them. It is time they welcomed other eyes, other minds.

So long my friends.

Thanks for all the fish.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Hello 2013!

The best part about New Year's Day is the hope. Everybody has it. No matter how good or bad the past year has been, everyone welcomes the new one with arms wide, hearts open.
To do otherwise would be an invitation for despair to come to dinner and camp out on the couch. Even those who engage in daily flirtations with him are willing to bar the door, stoke the fires and hunker down on this day, where it is warm and cozy and all manner of comfort and potential exists. Even those who know him well will try -- on this day -- to pretend they can't hear him knocking.
This day is dedicated to possibility.
This is the day good wishes flow out to all without regard to ethnicity or religion. There are no underlying dogmas or potential offenses to shadow the good will. It is given freely, joyfully and with the utmost sincerity that all experience a happy new year.
You can tell yourself it is just another day.
But you know it is not.
And you can't help reflecting on the path you have taken since last you crossed this threshold.
For me, it was a blissfully uneventful year except I watched my daughter embark on a journey of wellness and fitness that is already reaping great joy for her, and for that I feel blessed and grateful. 
And now that I think of it, I feel pretty happy with what I have accomplished as well.
I finished a full year of physical therapy and celebrated an anniversary of not smoking.
I saw to the publication of three amazing books, though I personally wrote none of them.
I am still employed and still loving my job after all these many years.
I am still healthy, though a new hip awaits me in 2013 (thank goodness...oh to take long walks once more)
I have reconnected with an amazing friend, a soulmate of many lifetimes.
I have tried to reinforce all the many friendships I have, although I know I am not the friend they deserve, and if I have a resolution for the new year, it is to be a better friend to them all.
I have tried to keep the family ties going, but ditto on the doing better.
I could go on and on, but I won't. That would just be an exercise in self-indulgence best done elsewhere. But this much I know. I enter this year with as few expectations as I can. I have goals. I have desires. But the universe can and will surprise me, often with greater things than I ever could have dreamed.
I think I'll enter it with joy and love and little else.
And I'll keep the sarcasm, thank you very much. It makes me happy. So, while you haven't seen it here today, I promise it will return.
It is, afterall, a part of who I am. Hello 2013. Watch out. Here we come!