...Well, that's the theory, anyway. As Kerry (flatmate, "Wicked" fan, mentioned before in context of origami) remarked in ironic tones at midnight on Wednesday "Happy New Year! - hey, our lives have just been completely transformed." We then drank a large amount of champagne very quickly and went out in the street to wave sparklers and cooo at the neighbours' fireworks, so you can see that the mood of adult cynicism didn't last. In fact we had a great evening; she has taken up baking, and produced a very creditable apple pie with a rich chocolate crust. Paulo missed out on the pie as he had decided at the last minute to try and get to the Mayoral fireworks, and announced at the kitchen door "I am going out to the streets, I may be some time"; at which we both shrieked "Goodbye, Captain Oates!" and fell around laughing, much to his bewilderment (unsurprisingly, Robert Falcon Scott is not a national figure in Portugal).
Captain Scott; author of one of my favourite quotes (from his last journal entry):
"I do not regret this journey; we took risks, we knew that we took them, things have turned out against us; therefore we have no cause for complaint, but bow to the will of providence, determined still to do our best to the last."
As a statement of calm resolution in the face of defeat, and of what I can only call the spiritual equivalent of Truth-to-materials, that takes some beating.
I had that quotation stuck on the wall of my studio space at college for four years out of the five I was there. I remember one of the tutors stopping to read it once, then snapping dramatically at me that I hadn't taken any risks at all; I replied mulishly that I thought for me I had, and she pouted and flung her hair(ex-KIAD people will probably be able to guess which tutor this was!). I simply hadn't the nerve to say "Lady, I have taken a far bigger risk than most of the students you applaud as risk-takers - I have done my own thing, consistently, even though it was neither fashionable nor popular with you, and even though I know it won't get me a good degree."
Yea, I'm a reb, me! Ahem, kind-of, ~ish...
Anyway, going back to new years and new starts; 2008 has been very much a year of reshaping and shaking up, and of altering the basic formulae, as 'twere, so that I reached the end feeling rather different from the woman who went in, twelve months ago. Most of this tranformational process has been internal - mental and emotional and, dare I say, spiritual. I hope this coming year will be one of building on these new foundations and starting to make real headway on realising my plans and dreams.
And I hope it will be so for all of you, too. Happy New Year, everyone!