It’s a New Year!

Hello my friends! And happy new year from Chennai!

It’s January 1 and just like yesterday the horns honk honk on this side of the world. At midnight, a brief moment of quiet fell. And then fireworks. Women and kids painted colorful kolam on sidewalks by sifting rice flour and chalk through their fingers. This morning, they’re mostly gone—walked on, washed off and swept away.

A good lesson, no?

As I move into another year, I’m thinking about the things I can release. There’s shoes in my closet I don’t wear. There’s sweaters to keep someone else warm. And what about the vintage wear wrapped up inside me? Old habits that don’t really fit. Ideas whose day has passed. Just a whole lot of clutter. Just a whole lot of space I’m keeping from myself. What to do?

I’ve asked myself this:

What do I really need? What purpose does a grudge serve? What value a trauma?

These old patterns—souvenirs of the past—are just waiting to be cleared. And like the sidewalk art, some of it will clear with nothing but a sneeze. While others will need a bit of scrubbing. Either way, the sidewalk awaits its clearing. Imagine what new possibilities I can paint there. And clear again. And paint and clear.

It comes down to this. The joy in life is in the experience of creation.And the acceptance of its destruction. We lodge our footprint in the sand. We marvel at our toes. We watch the tide rise. Our mark is gone.

We don’t need to hold on tight. When we do, the joy is gone. Instead, let’s see what beauty we’re capable of producing. Let’s see how it connects us with others. And how others pass it along. Let’s remember that our productions are a meager imitation of a much greater creation. A creation that connects us with others and inspires others to make the same gesture. A gesture toward all that is. A gesture toward all that is always changing.

So I’ll keep letting go this year—of habits and grievance and hurt. And I’ll see what evolves in the space I find. And what joy.

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