New Year Contemplations

I’ve been in Denver with family for the high holidays this week and it’s been a good experience, packed with things to do and people to see. One of the great things about having adjusted to Albuquerque is that I do not feel altitude sickness in Denver when arriving. So it’s been a great time and much easier than usual.

Rosh Hashanah is the new year and like any new period, it urges me to figure out how I’m going to change for the better this year. Rosh Hashanah is also right around my father’s birthday. I feel a bit of heaviness around this time as I think about both the new year and what I’ve lost in years prior.

It’s appropriate. There is some good to be had from contemplations of both death and the new year. No one knows how many days we have been given. This is explicit in the Rosh Hashanah services. The calendar’s synchronicity with my father’s birthday makes it more salient to me as I think about him and mourn him again. How we use our days matters. It matters a great deal.

Seth Godin, whose podcast Akimbo is one of my favorites, has a podcast discussing writers block, in which he states the obvious: writers block is due to fear and we can overcome fear. But his discussion is both interesting and useful. I listened to it yesterday whilst contemplating Rosh Hashanah and it brought back to me that setting a table for fear and entertaining it in high style is a dance with oblivion. We embrace life by giving our crumbs to fear and saving the fine china for those thoughts and emotions that will speed us onward toward things that matter most.

That’s my Rosh Hashanah vow for this year: Give the crumbs to fear and set the table for a year of open-hearted, fearless writing. I vow to write more like myself to find my own truths and to be who I am as a writer. By simply writing more consistent words each day, I will force myself to walk through the fear and set words to screen.

My wish for you is that you find nothing this year to bring true fear or pain, that you are inscribed in the book of life and that you find joy, courage, and happiness.

Be well, friends!

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