Why is it that every year as January first approaches, I feel like Captain Hook with the crocodile? The tick of the clock the crocodile swallowed reminds me of time passing, mortality, the end of things. This year, more than ever before, I feel this immense need to rush things out of the house, banish all dust, all grime, all extraneous matter. This includes wanting to empty my closets of junk (not a new feeling, and not exclusive to this time of year, but flaring up nonetheless) and wishing I had a few more hours, just a few, to set things in order. To give me a false sense of calm. As if somehow at midnight, something will turn back into a pumpkin (mixing my children’s stories here, but I don’t have much time to think of how to not!) and something will vanish, never to come back.
But this is true for each second that passes, isn’t it? Why is this moment (11:59 pm) any different from any other moment? This has been a hard year in many ways, for many of my people. I’m not sad to let parts of 2010 go, and yet there’s my urge to halt the clocks, slow it all down, just for today, so I can…Do everything! Fix everything! Recycle everything! And feel something important somehow more clear.
Instead I wish I could be “good form” about it (Captain Hook, in the real book by J.M. Barrie, is very concerned with what is “good form”) and just get out my sword, or hook, and greet the ticking crocodile with bravado. “Hallo, you scaly fiend!” I’d say. Wishing again for that dream of swashbuckling heroics and the liberation from clocks, from fear of time passing, from fear of mortality.
On the other side of today, I hope to find a little more of that courage.
May it be a brave and beautiful year for us all.