Tuesday, December 30, 2008

SETTING THE PATH…

As we pause to deliberate, Janus-like, on this final day of December, we know the general shape of the year ahead, though not how it will specifically shape our lives. We’re thus faced with the eternal conundrum of the seasoned traveler: within the mystery of the road ahead there’s happiness and adventure, but also possible disaster and grief. Is it therefore any wonder we feel a twinge of apprehension? Many folks attempt to skew fate via the making of resolutions. As if promising to be better—to clean up certain aspects of their act, so to speak—might exempt them from difficulties down the road. Maybe. But to me it sounds too desperate, too much an attempt to bargain with God. And if there’s anything I’m pretty sure about regarding my relationship with God, it is that I’d better not make promises I can’t—or won’t—keep. Personal history also indicates any worthwhile resolutions I might make—those designed to add missing virtues or improve existing character flaws—will almost certainly end in failure. I’m prone to yield freely to temptation, possibly because I’m congenitally incorrigible. Resolutions may be commendable, unquestionably good for me, practically guaranteed to improve my lot in life—but my heart is seldom in them. I’m too set in my behavior, too content to revel in my idiosyncratic and occasionally curmudgeonly ways. Instead, I go through the new calendar month-by-month, page-by-page, and make notations. I list the things I did during the past year on such-and-such date that I’d like to do again. Equally important, I list things I failed or forgot to do which I hope to manage this time around. So often when contemplating the year behind, I find I regret the things I didn’t do more than those I did. This calendar-marking business serves as a sort of reminder of the path I hope to follow—an attempt to set my itinerary by outlining my seasonal map. Of course time has also taught me there’s no need to worry about over-filling this would-be datebook. Weather, finances, health—that crazy mix of serendipity and circumstance called life—always intervenes frequently and unpredictably. Things come up. Janus has his way—doors open and close. The world changes. I change. Most of us have far less control over our lives than we'd like to believe. But that's where the real adventure lurks, two steps into the unknown. Personally, I wouldn’t want it any other way. As you follow the circular trail anew, I hope your potholes and sidetracks are few, while your rewards and blessings are numerous. Walk in beauty… Happy New Year!

2 comments:

The Solitary Walker said...

Very well put - and a Happy New Year to you too!

The grizzled but still incorrigible scribe himself! said...

Thank you, Solitary. Your comments are always appreciated…