The Best Place To Be Is Here

December 31, 2013

The best place to be is here,
at home, the two of us, while

others ski or eat out. . .
— Jack Ridl, b. 1944
American poet

holi13badge-snowflakeIt is nearly 4:00 in the afternoon of New Year’s Eve as I write this. A post from yesterday, about my attendance at the funeral of a former teacher and mentor, is in draft. As I worked on it, I began to understand that I was still too close to the emotions I felt and the insights I gained during the events to be able to write about them nearly on the fly.

I will eventually finish that piece, and post it, between this post and the one that came before. This is my blog, and I can do anything I want with it, inserting, removing, rearranging elements, not unlike what Walt Whitman did with Leaves of Grass. But this is the last day of Holidailies, and I want to wrap things up and say thank you to the organizers and see you next year to readers who only stop by during this event. When I read Jack Ridl’s poem, featured today on The Writer’s Almanac, as I scrambled to tie up a  lot of loose ends before dinner, anxiety building about all I have left undone, I knew that I needed to withdraw, gather what I can of my scattered self, and come out anew on the other side.

Here the snow will

fall through the light over
the back door and gather

on the steps.

We’ve seen two forecasts for our area, one calling for low temperatures and a few flurries, another showing a 3- to 5-inch blanket of snow. There won’t be a moon tonight, and I’m hoping there won’t be a repeat by the church behind our property of the incessant noise, lasting from 9:00 until well past midnight, of their “Crossover Service” last year.

     We will hope
our daughter will be safe.

She will wonder what
the year will bring. Maybe

we will say a prayer.

There is no maybe about that. I will be saying a prayer, to the close and holy darkness, bringing to mind everyone I have ever known, everyone I know now, everyone I love. I’ll be wondering what the year will bring for all of us. May it be mostly joy.

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