"Art is not what you see, but what you make others see." Edgar Degas

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 / 2014

Ring out the old
Ring in the new
Ring out the false
Ring in the true

It’s that time of year again – the end. Time to look back and time to look ahead. Time to figure out what lessons were learned and which ones still need to be learned. Time to say goodbye to the old and the dead, time to say hello to the new and the living.

First, the goodbyes: I left a job I’d worked for over 20 years and a band that I’d been in almost as long. One person very close to me was diagnosed with terminal cancer and another ended her long working career. Another moved into a dorm room in DC. Nelson Mandela died. So did Peter O’Toole, Doris Lessing, Ray Manzarek and Lou Reed, who was once kind enough to autograph this for me:
 


There were also hellos: I started a new job and launched this blog. Creatively, one of my short stories was published and I recorded a new album of material with Late Model Humans titled Ain’t No Good before I quit. Since then I’ve found another voice with 10 new songs . I took a writing workshop with Stefan Merrill Block and started a new novel. I wrote a short play and saw it performed. Personally, I made a new friend in 2013, which might not sound like much but considering the fact that it’s only the third time I’ve accomplished the feat in the last 25 years, it feels momentous to me. I also got to visit with old friends in San Francisco and spend a few days south of the border with my oldest and dearest friend. And this guy also came into my life:

and I hope to spend a decade or two getting to know him.

I learned an interesting lesson about how easy it can be to say goodbye or hello. I felt the weight of time on my back for the first time and it made me grateful for whatever time is left and inspired to use it to good effect. I learned, again, the powers and beauty of love.

Of the lessons still to be learned, the mysteries are the same ones they’ve always been: What to do with the time that is left and the love that is everywhere. How to write a better story or song. How to love better; how to think better; how to be better.

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions but I like to set goals and this is a better time than most to think of such things and what the next 365 days might bring. If next year comes at us the way the rest of them have, it will certainly contain many wildly unpredictable and unexplainable events, and the best way to prepare for them is with a flexible mind and spirit. My primary goal is to maintain both my sanity and my creativity in the 14th year of the 21st Century.


Ring out the old 
Ring in the new
Ring out the false
Ring in the true