Every new year’s eve, I watch fascinated as the human race prepares for the turn of the year. It’s amazing what we tell ourselves, about the year passing, about the year to come. We sure do love a good story. We watched, transfixed as we made up one about what the Mayans wrote, and may have been slightly disappointed when we discovered the truth was actually closer to our current reality than our fantasy. We struggle with our stories, sometimes creating hierarchies that are as fragile as their makers, yet at the same time strong enough to spark withering debates that cross time, space and the digital spectrum.
Sometimes our stories are contradictory. We want a world of those who do no evil, yet can’t fathom a God that exists without the boundaries of ‘good’ and ‘evil’. We are deliciously human in our irrationally logical histories and herstories and zirstories, and every narrative in between.
I started 2012 with a resolve to be less cyborg, less numb, and more human. A Year of Being Human, I declared (if one can call a tweet a declaration). I would say I got to experience all the delicious contradictions of that: the pleasure, the pain, the confusion, the struggle with fear, the challenges of faith and the dances death did around me and my loved ones.
More than ever, I felt human. I felt the loss of spirits as they left their vessels. I felt the weight of stories that went untold as our twisted systems took one life after the other. When I could, I would say their names out loud to remember, even for a brief moment, how connected we are on this planet. I felt love. I felt anger. I felt loss. I felt fear. I felt faith. I felt alive.
And it feels good to feel alive. I spent the summer trying to hold on to every alive moment so it wouldn’t slip through my fingers. One day, I will tell you the story of the Summer and Fall of 2012. One day, when I know it fully myself, I will remember that I learned we can’t live close-fisted. So I learned to open my palms, face them upwards and outwards, giving and receiving in the same motion.
Pretty soon I’ll be headed out to my church family’s watchnight / crossover service. I’ve done this in one form or another for all 27 years of my life. Tonight, is a bit different because I’m a bit different. A lot different, really. Regardless of where you are at the turn, know we are connected on this journey.
Peace to the humans. May 2013 be gentler and bring us closer to each other, hearts wide open, visions clear and spirits first.