my new year’s eve thing

outback maples (2)

it happens every time
before the event
I already know just how it will unfold
in me
I’ll watch the snippets of welcoming in parties
starting with Auckland
and moving through the time zones one by one
and every celebration I watch
has the same effect:
almost immediately I begin to tear up
and as the countdown proceeds
and the camera pans between
the descenting or ascending ball
and the crowd
between the kissing and the fireworks
between the strains of auld ange syne
or whatever else they may all be singing
and the shouts of excitement
it becomes difficult to fight back the urge
to let my tears become weeping
and inside   it is as if
my heart somersaults
with feeling

all this 
over a date
designating the beginning of a new year
the precise day for which 
has varied over time and place
generally between January 1st 
(after January was added to the calendar
around 700BCE)
and March 1st
(a nod to the newness coming with the vernal equinox)

until Pope Gregory XIII more or less fix’t January 1st
as the beginning and eventually
         decades  centuries pass here
it became THE New Year’s Day

you see how arbitrary it all is
and yet
there I am year after year
my heart somersaulting my eyes full of tears

I think I figured it out
last night
in the midst of the experience

my reaction is to optimism
a perceptual attitude toward the universe
which is  to my mind
too little on display
but on New Year’s Eve
it makes a boffo annual appearance

the memes of fear 
the doom and gloom
about the state of the world
especially the state of human affairs
always on gnerous display
and yammering in our ears
are shut in the closet
and everyone who comes out 
comes out without them

lest you feel badly for these abandoned memes
do not worry yourself
as they are on the playground most every other day
of the year and 
while the revelers let out their optimism
they are being attended behind closed doors
by the depressed
the curmudgeonly
the terrified
the joy slayers

I am a year round optimist
as far as my own perceptual attitude goes
and so frequently I am a minority
of one among    moaners groaners and whingers
I try to avoid being with them   en masse en messe
and it happens less and less often
as time goes by
but to see it in full bloom
as people cheer and hope for
a better time in the immediate upcoming future
well
it moves my heart to somersaulting
and my spirit to joyous weeping
I nurture the wish
that the feel of optimism
and its consequent effects
could be realized by/for these crowds
all the other days of the year
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