Archive for January, 2008

Okay, it’s now January 5th. Take your Christmas lights down.

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We’re a day into 2008 and for once it feels like a new day, a new year. I don’t usually care for the so-called significance of a new year, that it’s a time for new beginnings, time for new resolutions, for new chances. I’m looking forward to 2008 if for no other reason than to put some distance between me and the past year. That sounds negative, probably more negative than I really feel.

About a month or so ago Jim John asked if I could sum up 2007 in one word what would it be. I couldn’t give him a straight answer immediately because I found it difficult to capture what the year was in one word without losing those inevitable varied nuances. Maybe my problem is just that I have a poor vocabulary. Jimmy’s word was “grace” in respect to the grace God’s shown him through his moving towns, finding jobs. I like his answer. 2007: a year of grace.

The only word I came up with came to me during new year’s eve at church. I’m going with “poignant” which, according to my dictionary widget, means “evoking a keen sense of sadness or regret.” I think there was a fair bit of that. Those moments are also joined by these vivid feelings that came with the joyous moments. This all may be over-doing it a little but I’m having trouble finding a better word.

It wasn’t a terrible year. There were lots of fantastic, happy memories. However, there was this sense of longing accompanied by touches of sadness. There was a lot of waiting this year. There was also disappointment. There was joy and there were tears. That was my year. Is there a word that captures that?

My 2007 felt like a Damien Rice record. Bits of brilliance and moments of happiness enveloped in this overarching sense of loneliness and heartache.

I’m sitting here listening to Andrew Osenga‘s album Souvenirs and Postcards. I have detailed memories from the summer of 2004 of driving around in a rented silver Dodge Neon soaking in this record. It took me from Houston to Tulsa to Taos for Ron and Steph’s wedding and back to Tulsa for more time with loved ones. Those were great times. They’re cemented in my memory. But that was three years ago. And I don’t really know where I was going with that story. That was then and here I am now, over three years later, wondering where the road ahead will lead. I think the problem I’m having is that I don’t always believe that the road I followed brought me here; I often feel as if somewhere along the way I was knocked out, picked up in an unmarked, windowless van, mugged and then dumped off on this abandoned country road without street signs.

But it’s 2008. And for some reason I’m beginning to believe, despite the sun’s shining and being in my eyes, I’m beginning to believe there’s a star in the sky that’s meant for me to follow, that I’m not so lost on this road after all.

Happy new year.

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