New Year’s Resolution:  Be Human.

Like you I
love love, life, the sweet smell
of things, the sky blue
landscape of January days.

And my blood boils up
and I laugh through eyes
that have known the buds of tears.

I believe the world is beautiful
and that poetry, like bread, is for everyone.

And that my veins don’t end in me
but in the unanimous blood
of those who struggle for life,
love,
little things,
landscape and bread,
the poetry of everyone.

“Like You” by Roque Dalton, translated from the original Spanishby Jack Hirschman. Text as published in Resist! Christian Dissent for the 21st Century, edited by Michael G. Long (Orbis Books, 2008).  

Once more the solstice has passed.

The time of both nadir and apex, the season of paradox, of holy dark nights and most potent, ever-needed light, gives way now to the long winter, the march of slowly returning light.

The bustle and burble of December’s season of frantic merriment and even more frenetic acquisition leaves its bittersweet and ever-longing imprint upon us and upon the earth.  The calendar page turns.  The world braces, stretches, yawns, raises its voice, its fist, its banner.  Another year has come and gone, and here we are.   7.7 billion human souls.

The news, of course, over the last month, was horrendous.  Awful.  Almost always bad.  Of course it was.  There are horrors we cannot unsee, terrors beyond the telling, a pit opens up, a cataclysm awaits.

And I have failed a million times at loving, and so have you, and yet here we are together.  Another year, another day, another dusk fast approaching, another chance to try again.  Every time we fail is another opportunity to try again, and that is how our humanity is made.  Over and over we try to love.  Fall down and get back up.

Let 2019 be that year.  The year we keep at it.  The year we bring our humanness to bear on all those terrible headlines, all the stories we can only skim for the way they break our hearts.

That broken heart is a human one.

Here in upstate New York, it is grey.  The light is watery, the clouds heavy, the sun a distant memory.  The snow is scattered here and there in old tatters.

We hunker down now.  We slow down.  We hibernate.  We endure. We take stock and go within, stare as our ancestors did into the hearth’s fire, and set intentions for how we will walk through winter.

How we will be guided through the cold months, what will sustain us, and what will call us onward toward spring.

Intentions for a Year of Being Human

Breathe.

Love When It is Hard.

Stretch Often.

Fail.

Try Again.