Thursday, January 19, 2012

Taking the “new” out of New Years

We are already into the third week of the new year and I am waiting for something wondrous to happen.

You see, I have this fascination for new years. Somewhat of a childlike expectation. As if something different is supposed to happen simply because of the way we artificially separate time. I can’t help myself. It begins with officially toasting in the New Year with warm anticipation (although at times it is more like a heavy sigh of relief at having made it through yet another year). Actually, it begins even earlier than that - during the last week of December when making New Years resolutions in front of a roaring fire in the company of my closest of friends. Maybe it is the seductive lure of the fire, but we really do seem to believe that we will stick to these resolutions each new year.

Looking back, I don’t have a very good track record when it comes to New Years resolutions. The only time that I can remember carrying one out, in recent history, was the year of  2011 when I pledged that I would - no matter what - get my book published. And actually succeeded in doing so.

Maybe the shock of my actually carrying through with a new years resolution is what spurred my two close friends to not only declare significant resolutions for 2012, but also set out with a fierce determination to carry them out. Meanwhile, for the first time, I am left with no resolution at all for the new year and time is running out.

I suppose that we cannot make a resolution until we decide what it is that we want. And I keep coming up with a blank. Sure, I want to continue with my writing after taking this first big step. And I am also working on a screenplay.  But what is it I want out of all of this. Another book? Endless adulation? A smug sense of worth?

We think that if we could go back thirty years, knowing what we know now, we’d be much more in tune with our needs and desires than we are now. As if hindsight would create a better world. But it doesn’t work that way, does it. If we don’t make the same mistakes again, we will make other mistakes. Perhaps just as big, perhaps even bigger. There comes a time when you have to accept where you are in life. Accept it and work on making it better.

Does this mean I should give up on the idea of opening up a pub in Yellowknife? Would such a decision negate all that I have gone through and have become, or would it be a natural continuation to all that came before it. From hot desert to cold desert. From a small dysfunctional community to a slightly larger one. Okay, Yellowknife is much larger than my small desert community. But I’m sure that I could find a community just as small and isolated, not too far from Yellowknife. A community probably only accessible by dog sled or small plane. But how much beer would get sold? There must be a tangible level of possibility for any New Years resolution in order to turn it into  a feasible goal. Otherwise, what is the point? I learned this from a redhead. 

“You really should try living somewhere normal for a change.”
Normal. Here she was staring at me from across the room, knowing all that she knew about me, and yet talking about normal.
“Normal? Scarborough was normal. About as normal as you can get.”
“Don’t confuse normal with a comfortable middle class community of WASPs and  Father knows best,” she said.
“Why not?”
“Have you been to Scarborough lately?”
Point taken.
“What’s a normal location in your eyes?” I asked.
“A nice small, comfortable apartment in Tel Aviv. A short walk to take in some culture or eat at a good restaurant. A stone’s throw away from an evening stroll along the promenade by the sea.”
“Have you been talking to Adva?”
“No, I have been eavesdropping.”
She would always have the upper hand, living in this invisible world of hers. And no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get both feet in.
“There is only one problem with that vision,” I said.
“What’s that?”
“The people.”

Maybe that is the key. Both the Negev desert and the Canadian Arctic offer places where most people wouldn’t want to even visit, let alone live there. I probably missed my calling in not becoming a hermit, but then they didn’t have Internet back then.

But I am no closer now to a New Years resolution than I was when beginning to write this piece. Am I doomed to now wander through 2012 without any direction at all? When does a nomad simply become someone who has lost his way?

I am open to suggestions. Can anyone suggest a New Years resolution for me?

1 comment:

  1. Can't suggest a resolution for you but hope it won't be taking you away from the country!
    In any case, sometimes when you stop thinking about something it will come to you! You'll realize that you had a resolution all along!
    Good luck with the screenplay!