After thirteen years of writing these reflective New Years Lists you’d think I’d start to reach a point where I began to reconcile myself to finding the nuggets of good in the dump-truck load of bad… and maybe that’s what I need to consciously attempt to do.
The chaos of the world seems to be leeching into my soul with each passing month, the news full of hate-filled politics and ignorance-driven malaise, the internet crumbling under the weight of greed and everyone’s never-ending desire to bask in a few seconds of fame no matter the cost, and the frustration of plain-old-middle-age and the impacts that has on everything from relationships to work to falling asleep each night.
There is a part of me that has been clinging with a kind of next-best-hope desperation to a little jewel of optimism I found. Where I found it I don’t remember. Under a glacier at the top of a mountain. In the mouth of a butterfly fish in a Caribbean coral reef. Rattling around in the bottom of a cheap little violin. It was just there one day, in my hand, and I’ve been fidget-spinnering it with me as I try and deal with the stupid of the world. It’s not elitism. It’s not being a triggered snowflake. It’s not a lack of common sense. It’s just the clash of too many competing ideologies, none of which make complete sense on their own, but all of which seem like they would draw blood from any poor soul who shows the least vulnerability.
And, sadly, that was 2017: clinging to a tiny jewel of optimism while being pelted in a hail storm of whatever the opposite is of a jewel of optimism… a turd of pessimism, maybe? A snot-rocket of fear?
Alas, with that small fragment I’m going to try and sum up said year from my point-of-view, and looking forward to whatever the next twelve months might put on offer. With that…