Reflection: getting ready for New Years

Posted by Bushel Basket in , , ,

I really like New Years. Not so much as a festive occasion but as a new beginning.* It is one of the reasons why I am adamant about saying Happy Holidays through the month of December. For me, there is more than one "reason for the season," and I think the birth of Jesus and the birth of a new year are related. This blog entry will be some of my thoughts as I get ready to move into a new year as well as some texts that I'm finding useful this new year's season. There may be a follow up to this entry, or not, as the spirit moves.

New years is chance to pause, reflect, and assess where I'm at, how I am, and see who I am becoming. Maybe it's the Catholic in me, but a regular time for self reflection and confession does my soul good. I don't go in much for New Year's Resolutions but use the holiday as a time of reflection and a signpost in the path of my life. Even the weather cooperates with this mindset. The cold keeps me inside more often, and the snow and ice quiet the outside and require me to focus on walking, creating more space for reflection on my walks.

In thinking of the the past year and the year to come, I feel lucky to be able to use this time of year as a transition point. Within the coming year, there will be many new things in my life, a new job, a new degree program, and most likely a new city. In looking back, I look at the job that I left, and I see what I've taken from that experience, both good and not so good. In some ways, my self care skills have improved, but at the expense of others, I fear.

One thing that I've been reflecting on is how I view my overall mindset and sets of skills. I have noticed that I am shifting from the view of me being focused on organization and moving towards a focus of creation. I have also discovered that I've fallen away from something that energized me, teaching, and have found something else, making. Call it arts and crafts, DIY, tinkering, or living more self-sufficiently. I think of it as making. In the coming year, I want to continue making, and if an opportunity to teach presents itself, I will take that as well. The coming year will need to be a year of patience and preperation, as I realize that I am not in a place to have what I want, a clearly defined career path and a long term loving relationship.

So, with all of that in mind, here are four texts that I am finding useful to keep in the back of my mind.


Table by Edip Cansever, translated by Richard Tillinghast

A man filled with the gladness of living
Put his keys on the table,
Put flowers in a copper bowl there.
He put his eggs and milk on the table.
He put there the light that came in through the window,
Sound of a bicycle, sound of a spinning wheel.
The softness of bread and weather he put there.
On the table the man put
Things that happened in his mind.
What he wanted to do in life,
He put that there.
Those he loved, those he didn't love,
The man put them on the table too.
Three time three makes nine;
The man put nine on the table.

He was next to the window next to the sky;
He reached out and placed on the table endlessness.
So many days he had wanted to drink a beer!
He put on the table the pouring of that beer.
He placed there his sleep and his wakefulness;
His hunger and his fullness he placed there.

Now that's what I call a table!
It didn't complain at all about the load.
It wobbled once or twice, then stood firm.
The man kept piling things on.


An excerpt from Seventh Son, by Orson Scott Card. Page 129.

"It came together in Alvin's mind. The whole story that the Taleswapper was trying to tell. Alvin knew all kinds of opposites in the world: good and evil, light and dark, free and slave, love and hate. But deeper than all those opposites was making and unmaking. So deep that hardly anybody noticed that it was the most important opposite of all. But he noticed, and so that made the Unmaker his enemy. That's why the Unmaker came after him in his sleep. After all, Alvin had his knack. His knack for setting things in order, putting things in the shape they ought to be in."


Getting Back To Work, Part 1 from


Beating The Little Hater also from

That's all for now. I hope your new years is as transformative as I hope mine will be.

* as a party, New Years hasn't always treated me kindly. Rather, New Years has shown why I should stick to beer, because I have almost no ability to limit my alcoholic intake, as the toilets in the childhood house of a certain friend can attest.

Creative Commons License

This entry was posted on Monday, December 29, 2008 at Monday, December 29, 2008 and is filed under , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


illdoctrine rocks. I also dig both of the other pieces.

This making of which you speak ... I am huge into it right now. I am looking around at what I have that isn't being used and asking myself, why do I have it and if I want to keep it, what can I make with it. I've a nice little roll of chicken wire from which I am going to make things. It will be known as my Chicken Wire Period".

I think all of 2009 is going to be a transition time for me. Maybe all of life is a transition time marked into smaller segments?

The "word verification" code here is "halfput". That is making me chuckle...

January 3, 2009 at 10:43 AM

Post a Comment