Ah, the first day of a new year. All the possibilities: redemption, promises, optimism, fresh starts. All the salads I’ll eat. All the crunches I’ll struggle through. All the pages I’ll write.
The pages I’ll write. Yeah.
Yesterday, I capped off a month of pure indulgence with more of the same. Starting at dawn after a night of far too much fun, I delivered some friends (complete with a vomiting child) to the airport, then—off to my daughter’s pet sitting job (she’d trundled off to the beach for New Year’s leaving her responsibilities to her co-dependent mama) to walk two tugging Jack Russells (it took them far too long to do their collective businesses), followed by some preparation for a photo shoot involving a golf club and many, many golf balls I could only sometimes hit, and mostly badly, to a 3 ½ hour hike with my best pal, followed by dinner that was far too delicious, and then back to those tugging Jack Russells and their reluctance to shit (I think they figured out that once the diaper-genie smelling poop bag comes out, it’s back to the utility room in the townhouse).
That was yesterday. What a fabulous day. I crawled into bed around 11, and once the fireworks started—reds and whites and blues exploding out my bedroom window—I dozed off, blissfully alone. Got that? Blissfully alone. Truly.
So. Today. I staved off the impulse to give into my desire for Twinkies, and their dark cousin, the Ring Ding, in favor of several English muffins liberally spread with cream cheese. Topped off with a pot of French roast. I curled up with The Road in an easy chair and four hours went by in a flash.
I took in an afternoon film, The Painted Veil, which was a terrific redemption movie. I wandered around downtown Portland with no destination in mind. I did the laundry and answered a few e-mails. But, aside from when walking the constipated Jack Russells (during which I let out a few audible f-words as they twined their leashes around me repeatedly), and phone calls to each of my children, I spoke with nobody the whole day. Almost a monk-like experience.
The best part about not talking is that I had more time for listening. Terry Gross reran her interview with one of my favorite songwriters, Leonard Cohen, who is unflinchingly honest and articulate about passion, yearning and regret. And I could almost hear Cormac uttering some of the breathtaking gems in his book, such as “This is my child, he said. I wash a dead man’s brains out of his hair. That is my job.”
It’ll be great if I can commit to writing more consistently satisfying prose, but, who the hell knows, right? I’ll take what I can get. And today it was the space and time to treat myself to the words of other artists.