two sides of the new year

Stamp Engravers

Stamp Engravers

“As long as I am breathing, in my eyes, I am just beginning.” Criss Jami

When all things seem to fail, stand on your inner strength, shovel today’s challenges for your tomorrow’s freedom.
― Aniekee Tochukwu Ezekiel

You’ve got a chance to start out all over again. A new place, new people, new sights. A clean slate. See, you can be anything you want with a fresh start.
― Annie Proulx, The Shipping News
After working together to care for the container of our circle last week, we discussed fresh starts for this year. For many, this prospect was exciting and refreshing – we discussed what we look forward to and what plans and resolutions we have for ourselves as January continues. For others, though to reflect on the past and, in some cases, what is difficult to move beyond.

In the pieces below, you’ll see a many views of the new year. It aligns with our discussion of Janus, the two-headed Roman god – the poetry reflects perspectives that look ahead, look back, and tell the story of everything they see.


Two faces,
two places.
A mix of evil and good.
You think you know where I stand
but it was never where I stood.
You see the dark,
I am the light.
What you think you see,
well, it isn’t quite.
You see behind,
I look ahead.
We paid my dues,
I’ve made my bed.
What you see with your eyes,
that isn’t my soul.
It isn’t the story that you’ve been told.
They wounds still heal,
and time moves on.
I’ll play the game.
I’ll be the pawn.
What you can’t forget
is I am the Queen.
I’ll fly by night and steal the scene.
I’ll always win.
I’ll never fall.
I took off running from a crawl.
Was that checkmate?
Yes, I think so.
The game is mine.
Now watch me go.

AG Continue reading

Seeking Truth

Desert truth

There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting. -Buddha

All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them. -Galileo Galilei

Last week, we started discussion of truth with a handful of women at CRCF. It presented clean slate, a process, and, perhaps, a contract with the new year. One of our agreements is to offer writing space to any woman seeking honest self-expression. As we study the nature of truth, we commit to seeking the truth of ourselves on paper, even if those truths appear painful or threaten to change us.

One woman characterized truth as a kind friend. Another called it a primordial thread. Another called it love. Another doubted it even existed. This is a joke, right? She said. It became clear that our relationship to truth can be as complex as our relationship to love, freedom, wonder, any necessary but abstract notion, really. Truth is a concept that demands action but offers no guides, no answer, no clear road map. This leaves the potential for pitfalls, mishaps, and loss. As we started to write, we were all a little afraid. This is often the case.  Continue reading