Here it is, the eve of New Year’s Eve, December 30, 2015. I just sat here and read back through all the posts of the past year. Fascinating stuff. I am stunned that I neglected to focus on two wonderful things that happened this year: 1) my first place award in the Wisconsin People and Ideas Poetry Contest, for my poem, “Lesson at the Check Point,” and 2) my trip to Salerno, Italy for 100 Thousand Poets for Change. Let me not forget either of those measurables. Those are successes that need to be kept at the forefront of my consciousness, even if I am not always clear where my writing is leading me next.
So, if I wasn’t highlighting my successes on the blog, what the heck was I doing? While the year was unfolding, I was mainly obsessing about having had my job eliminated. At the time, I tried to keep it light by focusing on notions like exploration, a positive attitude, and the whole “action follows thought” mode of operation. All that running up the hill stuff and a door closes, a window opens, yada, yada. But, honestly, looking back on it, what I was experiencing for the last seven months was nothing but sheer terror.
The high level of fear has subsided, as I have begun working part-time for a great organization called the Lakeshore Natural Resource Partnership. I have wonderful co-workers and we share an important mission: developing a “water ethic” and a mindset of stewardship of the lake and the land. LNRP is an umbrella group that serves many smaller “friend groups” and other network partners who all share one goal: the protection of Lake Michigan and the watersheds of northeastern Wisconsin that flow into her. (Why do I think of the lake as a female? Note to self: write an upcoming blog post on why you think the lake is female. Check.)
Like I said, the terror has subsided a bit, but not completely. Despite my excellent new job that is perfectly suited to my skills and sensibilities, my financial situation is still rocky. I have had some scary moments, especially during the Christmas season. It is amazing how quickly a person can burn through money. This is not a problem when the inflow is regular. But, when the inflow has vagaries, when the inflow has not yet been regularized, well, that kind of variety can send a person like me down a chute of despair.
Tonight, on the eve of the eve of the new year, I say, “despair be GONE!” It is time to get myself flowing, like the waters that come out of the earth and head down to the lake. This is my watershed moment. This is the year when an important change is going to happen that will redirect the course of my personal history. Just wait and see.
If Georg was here (and he is, somewhere, but in a form that I don’t always recognize ), he would raise his glass. He would say, Cheers, my dear! Let the watershed begin!