Thursday, January 6, 2011

Are We There Yet?

I’m inclined to not believe the thing even though the face of it glares back at me as if in sinister sneer.  Like it or not, it is 2011.  Accept it or not, it is the sixth day of the first month of the aforementioned year.  And blast all, I am yet another year older, grayer, more wrinkled, and heavier.
Ah, but what was it the preacher said?  
“ Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.”  What profit has a man from all his labor In which he toils under the sun?  One generation passes away, and another generation comes;  But the earth abides forever.  The sun also rises, and the sun goes down,  And hastens to the place where it arose.  The wind goes toward the south,  And turns around to the north;  The wind whirls about continually,  And comes again on its circuit.  All the rivers run into the sea,  Yet the sea is not full;  To the place from which the rivers come,  There they return again.  All things are full of labor;  Man cannot express it. The eye is not satisfied with seeing,  Nor the ear filled with hearing.  That which has been is what will be,  That which is done is what will be done,  And there is nothing new under the sun.  Is there anything of which it may be said,  “See, this is new”?  It has already been in ancient times before us.”  (Ecclesiastes 1:2-10 NKJV)
It hardly seems possible, but there it is.  2010 has gone the way of all its previous brethren, and the youngster we call 2011 barrels on with the tenacity of an impatient child bellowing from the back seat, “Are we there yet,” all the while aggrieved to discover upon his arrival at the impending destination that he has been there before, and it wasn’t much of a big deal then, either.  “It has already been in ancient times before us.”
Christmas Eve and Christmas; New Year’s Eve and the New Year.  Fresh and new, and yet, not unlike those which preceded them.  I relish in the time spent preparing food, cooking, and watching it be devoured by good company, fresh in the attendance of the blessing of God upon our home and our lives.
Of course, the SEC in NCAA football decimated the Big Ten four games to one, and while an astounding eight of eleven Big Ten schools played in bowl games, five of that band, including two of the three co-champions went home losers while the third escaped only just.  It was the lower portion of the conference that fared most successfully.
And now, this sixth day of January, in the year of Our Lord Two Thousand Eleven, only now have I taken a mind to put pen to paper, as it were, having written nothing since the last day of the old year; yea, verily, the last day of the of the last month of the last year of the first decade of the new century, the recognition of which surely adding to the significance of the misadventure.
(L-R) Elissa Malcohn, John Foster, David Roth
I spent last evening in the fine company of the Tampa Writing Alliance, as a panelist along with acclaimed local poets and writers Elissa Malcohn and John Foster.  Despite my insistence that I was there only because I was hitching a ride and the person who provided my transportation did so only in exchange for my filling the third, heretofore  empty seat on her panel, I was well received, if overshadowed by the brilliance of the rest of the panel, and even a few of the audience, whose questions were far more brilliant than my answers.  Even so, I did get to spend a few moments with my brother who came to hear my wee bit.  If he was bored to tears, he had the kind grace to not show it.
And so my advice to my audience was to write daily, thus having subjected them to such dribble, I can in no wise tender less to the aggregate accumulation of pedantic wit than I in tertiary beneficence demand, I offer this.  Or as Benjamin Franklin Pierce once said, “It’s the least I could do, and never let it be said I didn’t do the least I could do.”
So onward we go.  But seriously, are we there yet?
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