As always, we are taking the week between Christmas and New Year’s off. It’s a time to slow way down and reflect on the year that’s passed so quickly, and on the new one we are about to begin.

That practice is especially vital now after the last trying months. We’re tired and need to rest and get our bearings once again.

We’re thinking about a big question Yoko Ono asks in her tiny potent book Acorn

Tell us if there is any story that helped you survive.

Many stories sparkle through our memories of the past year: all show the wild beauty that human beings create when the shit is hitting the fan. We witnessed it over and over: valiant ER and transit workers, neighbors doling out free Thanksgiving dinners to the homeless, Italians singing from their quarantine balconies, wondrous performances shared over Zoom…

There are other acts of crazy beauty that make us smile:

…a random guy playing the bagpipes during a snow storm in New York City (click the right arrow to hear him)…

And these friends figuring a way to make a Christmas tree fly…

They’re everywhere if you look around: people’s valiant efforts to help or defy despite everything. All are reminders to go on…

To the woman who handed over
a folded note, I have enough time
—on a thin slip of pinkish paper,
no name or address—you’re first
in mind this January 1.
Where did we meet?
You smiled shyly, stepped away.
Do you pass that note often?
Maybe you’re a friend dropping lines
when you detect a listener.
And what am I?
There’s a fine soup
to be made of every minute.
A way to stand and stir
so no one catches what you’re doing.
And there’s a sea of gloom
so close under the skin
that loves the taunt of a crisp new year.
Here, this fresh morning
and every to follow,
cabinet of stacked white
bowls, shines wide and plenty.
Each square of the calendar 
opens its hungry mouth.

—”Moments”, Naomi Shihab Nye, from Transfer

There’s a fine soup

to be made of every minute.

We’ll see you in the New Year…

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