New Year’s resolutions never work out for me. Either I make my list laden with idealistic goals, forget what was on my list and where I put it, or never make one. Some years, instead of resolutions, I conduct mini Burning Bowl ceremonies, a practice I enjoy more than writing resolutions. I see the Burning Bowl as a way to empty the glass before filling it again with all the accomplishments I want for the next year. I feel kinship with letting go. But, even though I appreciate the symbolism of Burning Bowl ceremonies, I cannot commit to a Burning Bowl every year. Sometimes, I just want the years to bump up against one another and see what happens. I want to feel the worn edge of letting go rub against the vulnerability of starting over. I’m a glutton for the sound of screeching steel as the axle turns; to feel it in my bones, the screeching of time. Often, I just want to enjoy the night as a belly-laughing drunk.
Today, I came across Woody Guthrie’s New Year’s Rulin’s in a FB post. His simple, direct Rules spoke to where I am at on this last day of 2013. I’ve adopted his first and last Rules as my own:
#1 Work More and Better
In the spirit of Rilke’s view on work, “We have to mix our work with ourselves at such a deep level that workdays turn into holidays all by themselves, into our actual holidays,” I resolve to continue integrating my work with my art and my everyday life. Integration and balance of the Writing Life is an ongoing conversation with fellow writers that began with an essay series I co-authored with Suzanne Farrell Smith. Working toward every workday being a holiday belongs in the resolution category of idealistic goals. So, I vow to do this year after year after year, turning my lifetime into a series of fulfilling days.
#33 Wake Up and Fight