on beginnings and tricksters


If eternity awaits us in all our hours, we get a boot up its snoot, it seems to me, every time we choose to start anew. There is something of the trickster in a new start, something likable but apt to be querulous, something tipsy but steady of gaze, something capable of swimming strong to shore but just as likely to maroon one for life in bad seas. Something infernally capricious, but dear. Something very us.

As the trickster deals the next unwavering hand, we guzzle hope by the tankards, sure enough of our footing if just a few cards land on the up. No matter yesterday’s games, no matter tomorrow’s ordeals: anytime we carve out a piece of now, call it the start of its own venture, and hie off into it sans promises, compass, or map? We have shaved off a smidgen of eternity and tucked it into a threadbare pocket, ready as ever to begin the world all over again. The soundtrack may be atonal as all get-out, but we hear four-part harmonies beginning to seep through the crannies of forever, and such spirits are known to call us by name if we can just be ready and willing this time.

Happy new year to you and yours, to all of us on this planet at this precise moment. I wish us a boatload of good cheer and steel backbones, for we have need of both now, it would seem. May our faith in this new start prove worthy fuel for whatever comes our way in the next 365 days.


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