The New Year has turned and is gaining momentum, the rains have come in San Francisco and now is the time to look ahead. A friend sends last year’s jokes to me, things like:
“2019 resolution: Stay away from negative people.
2020 resolution: Stay away from positive people.”
“Worst purchase of 2020: A calendar planner.”
And yet, I put my new calendar up and begin to fill in those little squares. The weeklies— Zoom music class with my granddaughter’s 3rdgrade in Portland. The bi-monthlies—Men’s Group starting our 31styear together. The monthlies—Zoom alum sing, live neighborhood sing. I have three Orff workshops in January, one in February, one in March and the hope for part III of my 6-week Jazz History Course starting in February. So the old adage of the three things that make life satisfying—worthy work, something to look forward to, someone to share it with—all look promising in the months to come.
But compared to other years, so sparse. Of course, none of the school ceremonies—MLK celebration, Spring Concert, Samba Contest, etc.—no annual Oscars as we’ve known them, no new movies at the local theater or lectures at the local auditorium, no SF Jazz Concert or Family Workshops that I’ve given. All the things to look forward to diminished, the people to share it with reduced to screened squares, the worthy work shrunk to a fraction of its full dimension. The one ritual I never look forward to— preparing my taxes—should be interesting. Not much money coming in these days.
And yet each day calls to us with its promise and instead of the big events that mark the week or month and give character and meaning, it’s the small ones. The daily walk or bike ride, the meals well cooked and savored, the piano practice, the next TV series and/or book at night. It’s a life I’ve accommodated myself to, as each of us has done in our own way and truth be told, the introvert in me who thrives on Solitude as much as leading classes and workshops, is quite content.
Amidst the challenges ahead, hope is on the horizon— a vaccine, the prospects of a kinder and more competent government and the 9-month practice of resilience and adaptation. Whether the calendar squares begin to fill up or stay empty, the world awaits us and invites us to meet it with the full measure of our intelligence and compassion. On we go.