Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year's Eve

Celebrated: Around the world for 2012 years

Hi there.

You may remember me from earlier and more lively incarnations of this blog, such as "You Talking to Me?" and "Books I Kept." I've been away for a while, which is symptomatic of a year that got very small, very narrow, and very compartmentalized — just how small, narrow and compartmentalized I realized only when an old friend (who obviously hadn't checked the title page) sent me a copy of Books to Die For for Christmas, with a note that said it looked like a book I should have.

I can't do the usual summing-up and weighing of the year's gains and losses, because one recent loss overwhelms everything else that happened this year. I said goodbye to Dizzy, my faithful pointer mix, three weeks ago. He was 13, mostly blind, mostly deaf, and in pain that medications could no longer control. Worst, he'd stopped eating, and took treats only because the humans wanted him to. Letting him go was the right decision — especially this week, which is snowy and cold here, and would have been miserable for him — but he was the organizing structure of my life, and the beginning of the new year means building a new framework.

On balance, I'm glad to see the year go, and looking forward to some new starts in 2013. New goals, new routines, new adventures, and with luck a re-expansion of my world, and a reappearance of myself in it. The nature of my work is that if I do it well, I am invisible: my clients take center stage, and their words speak for themselves on the page. But that does not mean, should not mean, that I need to be invisible when I'm not working, and this year I forgot that.

Bringing the blog back is part of that, so here I am, and here I'll try to stay. I've been offline for the past few months because I seemed to have nothing to say other than, "I'm worried about my dog," and then, "I miss my dog." But 2013 needs to be about more than that, even if I have to make it up. Especially if I have to make it up, or at least remind myself that my life used to be bigger than that, and will be again.

Thanks for your forbearance while I work all this out.  I promise that the 2013 posts will be more entertaining, and less self-absorbed. Tune in tomorrow, please.

PS: Does anyone know the original source of the illustration above? It's the most-frequently posted response to a Google Images search for "Father Time," but the only credit line I've found just says it's a 19th-century image.