For me, New Year’s is as close to a sacred holiday as anything in my life. Another year of journeying through space, learning, thinking, loving, fighting, and evolving.
It has been a strange year for me, and for many people I know. There have been deaths, breakups, anguishes and sorrows. There have been triumphs and discoveries as well. It isn’t about balancing it all out. It isn’t about celebration, or despair, but both. It’s akin to my philosophy about funerals: Don’t edit the person (or year) that has passed, and don’t lionize them unfairly. It is neither optimism nor nihilism that define our waking moments, but both realism, passion, and imagination… working together.
I watched 144 movies this year, read 71 books, finished 6 video games, completed two novels and one volume of short stories, and wrote 4 screenplays (including the short film I’m producing in 2011.)
I lost 8 people in my family this year. I gained a pet. I went to Canada for research and pleasure. I raged against fools and monsters, drew blood, made love, and changed the landscape of my life. In the literal and figurative, life is organic.
Now there is more to do. Further books about Louisiana bayous, rainy British alleys, gory fields of war, treasures buried, and mysterious islands emerging from the mist. More journeys through Russia, Rome, and Madrid; more explorations into the sweltering jungles of India or the meltwater marshes of Mongolia.
More for us to do as a society and a species. Scientists have learned to make paralyzed mice walk, and have also reversed their aging. A technological Horn of Plenty has spilled over, and our eyes have pressed ever further into the reaches of space. While some to choose to believe in Apocalypse, others are extending the path of progress.
More politics to enrage me. More trolls to vanquish, friends to make, battles to win.
More fights to have, books to write, films to watch and create. Like the narrator of A Descent into the Maelstrom, there are deeper sorrows and brilliant enlightenments, while we struggle to lasso that protean dragon of chaos through sheer force of willpower.
More opportunities to change the world, and make of it what we want.
Happy New Year’s 2011.