The year 2000; twelve incredible months. I could write an entire book about that year but just to summarize, I finally understood that there simply are no such things as "endings." The "little death" of selling our home, a finalized divorce and being essentially penniless overlapped with a new apartment that I should not have been able to rent, a telemarketing job that led to being employed by HP, meeting someone just as the marriage was ending (and we are still a committed couple almost twelve years later) and a miraculous, highly dramatic two-week trip to Maui with her all in twelve months (and I'm leaving much out.)
The cliche reads "As one door closes, another opens." As it happens, all that you need be is present and aware. Doesn't sound like much to ask, does it? Yet without a doubt, sometimes it's the most difficult thing to do.
This year began a new path with the project, one that has continued to this day; story poems. It has really taught me to "pay attention" as the initial note of the yearly theme can come from anywhere. It has served me well and I am most appreciative.
“Faithful friends who are dear to us.
Gather near to us once more…”
The story so similar, each and every Christmastime,
As our memories get jogged yet again.
Old sorrows and joys go peeling like bells
While running though our holiday regimen.
Dusty old boxes come out once again,
While tradition takes from center stage.
And the present departs in the blink of an eye
As the past we swiftly reengage.
The scene so familiar, I wondered aloud,
“Is there anything new to celebrate?
Or are we merely condemned to rehash the past
While doing our best to compensate?”
No man is an island, no question goes unanswered,
I discovered in a most surprising way.
For a sidewalk Santa, who was standing nearby,
Overheard my anguished passion play.
Red clad and white bearded, he walked up to me,
Smiled and gently sniffed.
Five little words were all that he said:
“Everything, son, is a gift.”
He patted my shoulder, walked back to his post
Like a heavenly sent diplomat.
And like old Ebenezer, I now understood
Why “the present” is called simply that.
I’d simply forgotten that our attention is love
And that we each play our part perfectly.
I headed for home with a grateful heart
And a promise to share generously.
December 2000 (when "that election" ended):
12th - The United States Supreme Court releases its decision in Bush v. Gore
13th - The "Texas 7" escape from the John Connally Unit near Kenedy, Texas and go on a robbery spree, during which police officer Aubrey Hawkins is shot and killed.
13th - American Vice President Al Gore delivers his concession speech effectively ending his hopes of becoming the 43rd President of the United States.
19th - The Leninist Guerrilla Units wing of the Communist Labour Party of Turkey/Leninist attack a Nationalist Movement Party office in Istanbul, killing one person and injuring three.
22nd - Pop singer Madonna and film director Guy Ritchie marry in Scotland
24th - The Texas 7 hold up a sports store in Irving, Texas. Police officer Aubrey Hawkins is shot during the robbery.
28th - U.S. retail giant Montgomery Ward announces it is going out of business after 128 years.
30th - Rizal Day Bombings: A series of bombs explode in various places in Metro Manila, Philippines within a span of a few hours, killing 22 and injuring about a hundred.