I Dreamed It Was a New Year


I don’t wait up for New Year’s anymore. For me, the ball and the TV are metaphors for boredom and social ruts. And holidays built around drinking (see Exhibits B and C, St. Patrick’s Day and Cinco de Mayo) are paper tigers left out in the rain.

Visiting a city for First Night festivities? I can’t think of a worse start than fighting traffic, being elbow to elbow with crowds, and dreaming of my furnace back at home.

No, I took my own escape tunnel out of the annual New Year’s dog-and-pony show. I read in bed until the gaudy hour of 10:30 before falling asleep and dreaming of a year that will never be. One built on the ideas of the Enlightenment, now under siege, so long ago. One quickly buckling at the foundations like a sandcastle inside the high-tide lines.

And peace on earth, good will to men? But a lyric and a myth, like friendly green aliens from the red planet.

So sleep. Yes. Even thugs and murderers and white collar criminals are but innocent babes when they are asleep. It’s the waking hours that breed deceit, greed, crime, hate, war, hunger, and all those other mug shots that grace each year’s front pages.

All we can control is local. And if enough people go forward with that mindset and sense of activism, we can create chinks that will eventually change the greater misdeeds and injustices. It’s the only way, and it should be all of our resolutions once we’ve slept through the parties and hangovers associated with Dec. 31st and its little brother, Jan. 1st. Resignation and hopelessness are but arrows in the other side’s quivers.

So that’s what I dream for a 2017. Readopting the line that all politics and activism and volunteering is local. May the year be a happy one for you, gentle readers!