thoughts for a new decade

I would rather be ashes than dust!

I would rather that my spark should burnout in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dryrot.

I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet.

The proper function of man is to live, not to exist.

I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them.

I shall use my time.

–Jack London

Jack London died when he was 40, so perhaps it is not an apt quote for someone who wants to live a prolonged life among multiple generations. Still, the sentiment is a bold one, and, to quote another favorite, William Zisner, author of On Writing: “Words are the only tools you’ve got. Don’t be kind of bold. Be bold.”

I’ve spent a wonderful two weeks on vacation, with family and food and friends (the triple threat position). A break after the stress of turning in applications, a stress which has turned into…a waiting. A passive waiting, I can do no more… which is stressful in a very different kind of way.

I’m a very visual learner/thinker, so I now have to refocus my calendar, click, and now I’m at the top rather than the bottom of a year. December was on the right end of my brain, and now I swing back around to January, on the left, at the beginning. Just like you swing across a line of type; reading left to right.

And so, on January 1–what a difference a year makes. Last year, at this very time, I had so much to write about–too much. Things I had done that I was just burning to write about, but I didn’t have time to write about any of them because I was too busy doing them, too busy being in places to write about them. I was being bold, was flying. And now, I’m stationary, and it’s sort of hard to have all these things that I did but not that I am doing. But, I must visualize this as a pause in my calendar, a plateau between dense, energetic scribbles, a time to record the scribbles and be with the triple threat.

Naturally, I am actually doing things, and really enjoying this life here where I grew up. Today, for example, I went to the Rose Parade for the first time in my conscious memory (my parents tell me I went as a youngster, but, as any college student knows–if you don’t remember it, it doesn’t count). I realize as a Pasadena native this is scandalous, my lack of Rose Parade attendance, but my oh my–did I have fun this year! I don’t know if you’ve heard… but the Rose Parade is sweet.

A doggy snowboards down a slope on a float made entirely of flowers.

Only in California.


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