"The people who are making this world worse are not taking a day off.
How can I?
Light up the darkness." --Bob Marley
"2015" sounds very futuristic to me. Something about the 15 I think, it just has a sci-fi ring to it. In a kind of Ground Hog Day way the whole notion of a new year comes around, well, every new year. And every year in January I think and write about how we might all gracefully step into that new threshold in the best ways possible. But this year I've had a hard time with it, every thought I've had felt stale, overwrought, like it had all been said before ad nauseam. I had made the enlightened switch from 'resolutions' to 'intentions' years ago and usually speak easily from my heart about my own ideas regarding how I am thinking about approaching it all. But this year I have been stuck, I don't seem to have it in me to list my desired changes and say 'happy new year' without taking a pause, a beat, a breath...and unravel a bit of why I've felt so stymied.
The truth is that 2014 was a brutal year in many ways. Globally there were so many tragedies and horrors, far too many to go through individually, but the feeling of it is clear in my being. Empty. Dark. Disillusioned. Women and children, and so many human beings, suffering unspeakable horrors. Then there's ISIS. Beheadings right there on the television. What can one even say about that? How can we all not be more than a bit traumatized? Planes have fallen--or been shot--out of the sky, it's hard for me to get the pictures of their wailing relatives out of my head, the loss etched on their faces. Not to mention I heard a new phrase recently that has evidently entered many people's vocabulary for the first time: "hate f*ck" and it's not an expletive, it's an action, deliberately taken. Wtf? is all I have to say about that. There's an awful lot of hatred and intolerance in the ether as we embark on a new year. How is it possible to be so un-evolved in the year 2015? That's the question I have taking up my brain space as I contemplate a new year.
And I have to admit the crazy weather is something I worry about this coming year. It's so out of our control all over the world, it makes a control freak like me wonder what 2015 will hold for us in that regard, especially for those who live in the areas that seem particularly vulnerable. Though I'm not sure anyone, anywhere is immune from danger, I live near the ocean in L.A. and over the last couple of years 'Warning: Tsunami Area' signs have popped up without any fanfare or explanation. You just know when you pass one, you are either leaving -- or entering -- an area that would be completely covered in water if we were to experience a Tsunami. Something that, with the addition of these signs, I'm gathering is a distinct possibility. I pass those signs every day.
And then there is what so many of those I love have been experiencing personally. More than a few friends have been fighting brutal illnesses and in some cases lost their battle. One hit after another. It has been so hard, physically, emotionally, financially, stressing their closest relationships to the max, each of them have been so brave in their fight. And those that care for them have worked so hard to be tireless and present. To me good health is our greatest gift, and it feels like so many things threaten us in that regard these days. Ebola has killed nearly 8,000 people globally so far, our vulnerability becomes so obvious -- from flesh eating bacteria to bird flu, from E coli to the rampant, I mean depressingly rampant cancer. It seems we as human beings on the planet are in a mine-field of dangers in so many areas, I feel sad and unsure of the future if I'm honest. No matter how much I wish it was different, my gut feeling is 2015 could be even rougher in some ways, with moments of great beauty and love sandwiched in between.
So where does that leave me this year as I consciously welcome in another year of possibilities, full of hopes and dreams and desires? Trust me when I tell you I'm a 'glass half full' type of person, not a 'Donna downer' but there is no way I could walk into a new year, this particular new year, and blithely be so self-focused as to not carry the heavy reality of the state of the world -- and the state of some of those closest to me, and the state of so many women and children globally -- in my heart, as I take those steps into 2015. We can't just all decide to 'manifest' what we want this new year -- some people, in some brutal situations, can't manifest sh*t right now, and I'm having a hard time forgetting that. I guess where that leaves me is in a place where I vow to remember them, to spend as much time joining my thoughts and prayers with those suffering, and doing what I can to help change it, as I spend thinking about what I want for myself this year.
As I looked over this for errors one final time, the story broke of the tragic terrorist murders of the 12 people in the offices of the French satiric magazine "Charlie Hebdo" in France. A true tragedy, a horrible blow to freedom of speech, and a reminder that one thing that will be front and center this new year is fighting against the religious fundamentalism that threatens all of us, especially the poets, dreamers and humorists who bravely make us think, and laugh, and remind us all to continually "light up the darkness." One of the main shifts for me at this particular time, is that I am not so focused on what I want to 'be' this new year as what I want to 'do' this year. I read a line that really speaks to me about my personal journey in 2015, "It's ACTION that determines who you are, not the other way around."