Wow! What do you even do with that when some days you wake up thinking it’s still the 1900s? It was always going to be the 1900s. In the 1900s, the year 2000 was a space odyssey - just something about which to write science fiction.

2012 is the year that I turn 51, and boy do I wish I could write science fiction about that! It is the year that the some people believed would be the last. I don’t have much to say about that except that I am sure the Mayans would have chosen a different year if they had had any idea just how fast it was going to get here...

Well, the truth is that in some ways I think the Mayans were right. The old world that we took so for granted is gone, and it doesn’t appear that it will ever come back. The world seems different. Is it just I? Or do you feel it as well? Is it just age creeping up on my thinking or something real that has crept up on all of us. 

It’s a foggy winter day with an unseasonable rain that is quickly turning our first snowfall into a muddy memory. But I have the wood stove going, and Jake and I just ate warm fresh baked ginger cookies out of the oven, washed down with cold milk. I’m stuffed and cozy staring at an open word document, and so I am waxing on waiting for something profound to enter my head.   

It may not. I may succumb to the haze of too many cookies and make my way to the couch like an old bear that wants to hibernate in the winter gloom. I made the mistake of making my couch too comfortable with a perfect view of the fire, and this winter I have found myself curled up there unable to do anything but doze because the lack of sunlight kills any drive to work and create.

Did you know they have marathon sessions of “Law and Order SVU” on almost every day? I came to the interesting conclusion (in between all the violence and murder) that I have almost the identical face shape as Mariska Hagarty and, after watching her hair morph in 50 episodes, have decided that what looks best on us is a medium shag.

Did I? Yes, I went for the scissors...

I did get a little burst of creative energy lately because I was invited to see Alan Rickman in a new play on Broadway called SEMINAR. Although I would have liked a dictionary to look up some of the words, I thought it was very good. He played a jaded writer teaching a writing seminar to four young want to be writers. 

I can’t help it. I love words. When you string them in the right order they are like pearls   on a chain. And let’s face it. The English language is only beautiful when spoken with an English accent. I think that’s why words on the page are better. There is no flat American accent to mar them. Alan Rickman is so good that I completely forgot that he was Harry Potter’s Professor Snape, something for which he would have probably been very happy to hear.

There is now piano music coming from the other room. It is a haunting, pretty melody played with rhythm and innate musicality, and it is played by none other than my 12-year-old son. Every time he starts, I get a jolt from the memory of him as a two-year-old sitting at his Dad’s big grand piano. Even then he had the music. His little fingers carefully searched for keys that “went together.” As I watch him now, I can hardly believe he is that little baby. His hands are shaped exactly like his father’s and I see them super imposed over Jake’s as he plays. If Jake can fight the lure of video games enough to apply himself, then it may be that my greatest musical accomplishment will be my son.  That is just fine by me.

I wish I were 12 again and it was still the 1900s. I had just enough gumption to believe I could do anything I wanted to do. My fantasies were fueled by the idea that if I applied myself I could do it... whatever it was. Life is fun when you are faced with a banquet of possibilities. Each passing year removes a few items from the table, but it also brings what remains into clearer view. In some ways, that’s what our world feels like now. There are a lot of items missing from the table, things that we took for granted, but what is left becomes much more precious and worth holding on to.

I know... I’m waxing on with metaphors, but it is the winter night and the call of the couch. It’s the heat of the fire and too many cookies. It is the lure of words and the need to string them in the right order so they reach...  

I don’t know yet what this year will bring, but I am still eager for the chance to find out, humbled to be allowed to control at least some of my destiny, and grateful for those who will help me long the way.  

I am still a singer.  

And the year is 1999+13...




photos by B. Fisher



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