This was to have been the year of promise. Last year about this time I said that I was committed to kissing someone I liked and who liked me at midnight 2013. I also stipulated that it would be a male. I posted a picture of Klimt's "Kiss". It is 11:09 and things aren't looking too promising. I forgot to write that the company that I preferred for NYE was to be human. As I write, there is one dirty street cat... named "Z" sleeping on my chair... fat and fed. I guess I will give him a kiss at midnight as the Istanbul fireworks begin. It seems to be my only option.
It has been an interesting year for this international school counselor. I have traveled much,
The world however is in much disarray I fear. Power has overshadowed freedom and peace. Wicked rulers and dark powers freely range unchallenged. Millions die of starvation and violence. Children suffer. Brothers and Sisters go without when some have so much. Some of us are cocooned in comfort and rarely see the misery and desperation that is slowing encircling.
All is not lost of course.
I am not a fatalist, nor a pessimist. I am a realistic dreamer. I know what is possible and I know that in time.. a change will come. It will not come however without pain and struggle and great courage.
This past year... some people I know of, and too many that I know personally.... have left this plane of existence. Died. Passed. Here is a short list of the more notable folks:
Nelson Mandela Joyce Brothers Princess Fawzia Peter O'Toole
Margaret Thatcher Malcom Shabazz David Frost Ray Price
Chinue Achebe Jean Stapleton Tom Clancy Annette Funnicello Mikhail Kalashnikov Esther Williams Scott Carpenter Roger Ebert
George Jones James Gandolfini Lou Reed Hugo Chavez
This isn't even a complete or terribly international list. But for better or worse... each left a mark.
And then there are others whose names most of my readers won't know. Two beautiful young women who I had the privilege to teach... each within a few weeks of one another. A good friend of the same age whom I loved very much, and with whom I shared the raising of young children. An aunt. A good friends' young sweet granddaughter...... A tragic list for the most part. Not notable... but each life most remarkable.
It is ten minutes to midnight here. The fireworks will go bursting all over this sprawling metropolis, and people will kiss and drink and dance and celebrate life. As they have done for many years. And we will continue until time forsakes us and every knee becomes bent in awe and wonder.
I do know and believe in the existence of eternity, and hope, and a better life. I also believe in living a present life full of the same... Here is to you and yours... to 2014.
Further on Up! Further on In!