New Year

Rain on the skylight. Rain on the windows. Wind and rain rain rain. The cat is on the bed. “Surely nobody will be dumb enough to set off fireworks in this?” Someone will be. Someone is always dumb enough to do all the things. Hopefully the cat’ll stay where she is and then we can let her know that everything is okay when there are skybooms.

Because it is. Everything is okay…

Another year beginning. This storm is blowing out the old. A little bit of me has been looking behind me today, just contemplating the year we’ve all just lived through. My version of it has been pretty weird and complete. Back from Jersey, a spot of COVID and then The Azores, Saudi, Cornwall, Sardinia, Greece, more Cornwall, driving to Majorca, Uruguay… All the runs up and down to Brighton, all the brilliant explorations with Lou, Cats, Stratford, Halloween, I’m a dancing Panda! Filming with Gary and dramaturging Death and working mit ze Germans. If I want to have had more it’s only because I’m hungry for experience still and that’s unlikely to ever fade. I was surprised to look back and see that I’d managed all the things I managed in just one year. There’s the problem with being tangled up in time and perception. Memories expand and contract. Our perception of the last year gets out of whack. How are we supposed to accurately respond to who we were decades ago when last month is already wobbly images and moments and colours? I’m kinda curious to track back this blog some time and establish where the shifts have been in my shape and the shape of my noise. Maybe some time I’ll look back over it. But who has time?

I was thinking about the millennium earlier. I was naive and much younger than I thought I was. I ended up crammed into some shit night club with filthy expensive drinks. We all scrummed towards Trafalgar Square and witnessed the edges of distant fireworks at midnight before slinking back to our overheated capitalist stinkden until they aggressively kicked us all out at 2am and we walked down the rainy river to Sands End and cooked a pasta I still remember to this day. Twenty three years later and I’m listening to the rain from a warm bed and it’s odds on that I’ll be asleep by midnight. That’s not to say that next year I won’t be dressed as a robot dancing in a perspex box. But this year I’m glad to be out of the mess. I’m glad to be peaceful and warm and unruffled. I’m happy to listen to the rain and contort my body so as not to disturb the cat. This is a happy warm place to be.

New Year is a powerful notional boundary. It changes nothing but it changes everything if we want it to. Tomorrow is another day but the numbers are different and if there’s stuff we need to cut out of ourselves then it’s as good an opportunity as any. I’ve had a fair few friends talk seriously about dropping the numbing habits – the ones that eat our time and money causing spirals. “I feel like shit in the morning so I drink. Repeat.” etc. I wish them well. January is a miserable month anyway, I usually start that stuff in February. But we all benefit from shifting the habits that don’t help who we are now. We change. We aren’t watching the same stuff or listening to the same music, hopefully. Why are some of us using the same crutches?

Whatever you attempt, wherever you are, I hope this coming year brings good things and prosperity. It will for many I’m sure. And as we get swept up once more in time and perception its worth holding onto the happy truth that we are probably genuinely doing better than we remember we are at all the things. And if we really feel we aren’t? Well, call me up and let’s have a walk in the park.

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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