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December 31, 2005

An accounting

This year, I screwed up several dear friendships, probably irrevocably.

I made new friends; and recovered friendships I had thought lost, or aborted.

Iím still employed. In my circles, thatís a fair accomplishment. They still like me, and they havenít taken away my internet privileges yet (gods only know whyóit seems like they ought to.)

I started school in August. So far, I have accumulated 15 total credits and a GPA of 4.0.

The huge Chief Illiniwek paper I buried myself under for the month of November earned Aís; and my sociology teacher asked to use it as a (positive) example for her future classes.

I learned. A lot.

I watched one of my closest friends, who divorced the man who I am closest to in the world besides my husband, then let go of a wonderful man; marry another (also wonderful) man.

I got to walk in my woods, in their glory of red maples, gold-green birches, and steady green pines; and I got to swim in my lake, calm and tasting sweetly of pine and fallen leaves, under a blue autumn sky.

People Iíd never met responded to words I wrote, and understood what I was trying to say. That, that is a gift beyond my accounting.

I gave extremely useful advice, and was given some. Also some not so much useful, both ways.

I listened to and read the news. I wept, and pounded my fists, and donated, and wrote letters, and wished I still believed in divine justice, because there are some people who will probably never get the earthly kind, and wouldnít it be nice if they got SOME.

I saw, close up, whitetail deer, mallard ducks, grouse, woodpeckers, praying mantids, dock spiders, enormous house centipedes, a foot-long earthworm, red dragonflies, blue-green grasshoppers. I held in my hands a robin (who was sitting stunned in my driveway, probably after hitting the porch window), as well as a red-spotted purple (butterfly), which climbed onto my finger when I offered it. Just last night, I held baby Alex, who stared at me with enormous milky blue eyes for what seemed hours, both of us in complete absorbtion.

I didnít cut any new ground in the garden, but I didnít lose any either, and there were moments of perfect beauty this yearóthe lavender, the love-in-the-mist, the columbines (Oh, the columbines!), the linaria.

I made probably twenty pounds of toffee; two batches of jam and two batches of apple butter; I donít know how many batches of cookies and homemade pretzels. I didnít feed people healthily, but by gods they certainly enjoyed it. And I made soap and lip balm; ornaments and jewelry; and knitted pretty and useful things.

I heard, and saw, felt, touched, tasted, and smelled both beauty and ugliness in a thousand ways. I created a bit of it here and there.

I love, and I am loved.

That will suffice. I think it must.

Posted by Stephanie at December 31, 2005 11:05 PM TrackBack URL for this entry:
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Comments

Stephanie,

What a lovely post...you have given me encouragement and hope.

This year has been so difficult for so many and I feel so downheartened.

Thanks for the uplift and Happy New Year!

Posted by: Dee at December 31, 2005 11:54 PM
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Beautiful piece.

Posted by: Hank Fox at December 31, 2005 11:59 PM
decorative line of bighorn petroglyphs

Wonderful piece. Thank you.

Posted by: Kevin Andre Elliott at January 2, 2006 10:02 AM
decorative line of bighorn petroglyphs

You've set a standard the rest of us can strive for in the coming year. Nothing beats holding babies and staring into their eyes; I know this from recent experience myself. Thanks for the post.

Posted by: Charles at January 3, 2006 06:48 AM
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Thanks, everybody. And Charles: I don't like kids much generally, and don't plan to produce my own, but it's pretty neat to be looked at intently by a critter who's just starting to see the world. Babies of all species are cool that way (plus, you know, the cute).

Posted by: Stephanie at January 5, 2006 02:35 PM
decorative line of bighorn petroglyphs