01 January 2014

same old story…same new year

'All is quiet on New Year's Day
A world in white gets underway
I want to be with you
Be with you night and day
Nothing changes on New Year's Day'

A quiet, calm, frigid morning. My town bathed in sunlight, covered in snow. A world in white. A blank canvas. So many possibilities.
A new day. A new year. A new start.
But has anything really changed? Does anything really change on the first day of the year?
The news headlines all look the same. The names and places sometimes change, but the stories all seem to be the same. Violence, corruption, greed, injustice, disease, poverty...the 'haves' lording their power over the 'have-nots'...everyone convinced that their way of viewing the world is 'right'...'people talking without speaking, people hearing without listening' (according to Mr. Simon). Even as I write these words, I feel like I've written or spoken them so may times before.
Nothing changes.
Although I'm a year older, deep down inside, I still feel mostly the same. I struggle with the same fears, doubts, insecurities, uncertainties, listlessness, restlessness. I shed the same tears, laugh at the same jokes, return to the same old stories, remember the same old glories. I suffer from the same wounds and long for the same healing that never seems to come. For all the experiences and insights that seem to come to me and even flow through me over the years, I sense that my mind, my heart, my spirit, my life most resemble the proverbial broken record, stuck in the same groove, repeating the same phrase infinitely, the groove slowly becoming a rut.
Even the snow that covers the rooftops and treetops is all made of the same stuff that's simply recycled over and over and over again. 
The same stuff that I'm made of. And you.
Truly, as the Teacher once wrote, 'there is nothing new under the sun.'
Nothing changes.

And yet...those snowflakes that are comprised of the same old stuff nonetheless are reformed in different, unique, new shapes, each one unlike any other that had come before or any other that are yet to come.
Same with me. And you.
We live in a world that is a living, breathing creation...constantly evolving, shifting, morphing into new shapes, patterns, designs, always reforming and transforming...a creation that continues to create and recreate itself. A world where each moment brings new visions, new realities, new possibilities.
And for all the ways that our world society and my individual reality are seemingly stuck in the same old broken patterns, grinding away in the same old groove on the broken record, there are glimpses of new creation, new hope, new life around us and even within us every moment of every day...circumstances that awaken us to a stark, yet engaging new reality, a new way of seeing, hearing, thinking, feeling that jars us out of that old rut and empowers us to live in a new way. Out of that same old stuff, new creation is emerging, new hope is shining, new life is happening, even when we don't recognize it or realize it. Or at least the possibility for it to happen is there, waiting for us to engage it.
In the light of real Love, each new moment is a chance to begin again...to recognize the same old stuff, the same old patterns, the same old issues and wounds and longings, and to see in them the new stuff of new creation, the seeds of new possibility buried within the husks of old hurt and despair...the seeds that can only take root and grow into those new possibilities when they die and fall into new soil. 
The same old stuff hangs on tightly out of fear, doubt, insecurity, uncertainty, listlessness, restlessness. But when we are willing to run the risk of letting go of the same old stuff, facing the fears that we cling onto because they are familiar and seemingly 'safe', we open ourselves to new possibilities of hope, love and life growing up from deep within us and out of us into our same old lives and our same old world in ways that embody a new way of being and living. A new creation.
Everything changes.
Same old story.
Same new year.

But as for the last words of this first blog on the first day of the year, I'll leave those to T.S. Eliot...
For last year's words belong to last year's language

And next year's words await another voice.

And to make an end is to make a beginning.

(1 January 2011)

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