This time last year, I was writing the final daily chapter of Aggie’s Art Of Happiness. I’d also just had a tooth out. I’d blogged every day of 2022, and felt replete with the completeness of that year, despite various challenges. And we’d discovered Agios Nikolaos on Crete, our final dream place. Every reason to feel 2022 was complete and rounded.
I’m not much given to end-of-year reviews, but I want to reflect on how much 2023 feels diamatreically opposed to 2022. It is the year of my incompleteness. The final read-through of The Mortality Code not done. Mental and physical health issues addressed but not resolved. Time not just slipping by quickly, but roaring past me at an inexplicably fast pace, more like a sand storm than sand trickling from one half of the hour glass into the next. And nothing I do seems to be able to slow it.
There have been ups, of course, they have – to finish The Mortality Code at all seems like an achievement, to have been able to support the children through their travails and successes has been illuminating and reassuring, to have written umpteen songs with Marina Florance, to have released 3 singles of my own, to have carried on bringing superb new and unsigned music to the listeners of Radio Stradbroke, to have written a poem nearly every day of the year, to have mentored my dear friend Larry to reach over 56k words in his debut novel so far. And there are more things that I should probably jot down as small and big victories, although they escape me right now as I try to speed write this before going for a walk. Most of all, I am still alive.
And then there’s politics – a rancid and corrupt and totalitarian Conservative government hanging on to power, and trying, in its dyong breaths, to ensure more poverty and misery for the “small” people it doesn’t care about (and has never cared about throughout its entire existence). I live through this every day, in my job and in my private life. And its adverse impact on me as a person is undeniable. I accept that life isn’t fair, but I will never accept that life is meant to be unending and deliberate unjustness inflicted on people by governments. Wars continue, evil people remain in power, and we seem ever further away from the hopefulness Rutger Bregman expressed in his Humankind: A Hopeful History. On that note – the histories we live through and the histories we write will always remain incomplete. So perhaps it’s not a surprise to exit 2023 with a feeling of incompleteness and incompletion.
I pray for a change for the better everywhere – for you, for everyone, for me.