Wednesday, January 01, 2014

My focus for the new Year's holiday days has been ntrospection and writing, though I've done a bit of laundry and visiting too, nd have joined the family for meals today.  i expected to come home to an empty house last night since Ruth, Chris and Liam were planning to enjoy the fireworks at Sea World.
I took the bus home from work expecting to find an empty house in which to write and think.  On the bus I was deeply touched by the obvious difficulty of a man about my age who was struggling with two suitcases and a need for directions and who couldn't make himself understood to either me or the bus driver.  I believe his native language is not English or Spanish and that he also has some kind of language or developmental disorder. His growing agitation scared the bus driver, who asked him to move away from her and not to yell.  i saw him visibly gather himself as he moved to a seat and made the sign of the cross several times and took a few deep breaths. He calmed,apparently recognized a landmark or a street sigh, and got off the bus seeming satisfied, even smiled at the driver.  I was touched both by human vulnerability and by human resilience. I also felt acutely aware of how much I take for granted (like being able to make myself understood). 
 It turned out that the family did not go to Sea World because it was cold and they were enjoying the prettied up house.  I was surprised to come home, feeling tender and open from my experience on the bus, to a small family celebration consisting of guitar music and sparklers around the fire pit, then toasts, resolutions and poppers in the kitchen. Liam, spinning with his sparkler, said he missed Grandpa. So do I, but Bob and I did have a good talk earlier and I feel like we are both where we need to be right now, and only a few days until he's home.
Maybe because of the changes in the house, the secular New Year seems more of a fresh start than it usually does.  I do have intentions for this year, not exactly resolutions, but tasks I want to finish, mostly writing tasks, both personal and family history writing and a second novel with Bob.  On a deeper level I resolve to work to keep stress down for myself and others especially by limiting intense immediate reactions.  I also resolve to follow through more effectively in relationships.
I even have a quote for the year, something I don't usually do. Albert Schweitzer said, " Sometimes a light goes out but is blown again into flame by a single encounter with another human being." One of the big things I want to remember in action for the new year is that it matters how we treat each other, always. And we can never know which action, for better or worse, has particular impact.

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