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Once More Around the Sun
Adrianne and I were out walking Cooper earlier and I asked her whether there was a single event that made her 2022 memorable. She thought about it for a moment as we walked and said, “Honestly, I can’t think of anything. Can you?” I tried to scrub through the previous twelve months in my mind and I drew a blank. Nothing stood out. I mean, there are a ton of things that came to mind, like another year of Covid, another year of humans failing the environment, Congress, the Supreme Court, Brexit, China, Russia, Ukraine, Twitter. I could go on, but none of the things I would come up with feel very personal. They affect all of us in one form or another. When we got back to the house, Adrianne asked if she could read me a poem that one of her friends sent her. It’s an anonymous poem that was shared on the Plague Poems Twitter feed. It goes:
So the goals you had set
were not achieved.
So the plans you had made
all went awry.
So all of your hopes
(your quite moderate hopes)
just ended in disappointment.
You have survived another year
of the plague
and while that may feel
as though it is not enough
I don’t know how or even if that lands for you, but I find it strangely comforting. It’s okay. It’s okay to just say we hung in there. It’s okay to say we did some things but, more importantly, we also tried to show up for each other.
We so often want to mark time by the big moments that I think we’ve forgotten how to acknowledge the smaller ones. We’ve forgotten, as the poem says, that sometimes just being able to say we went once more around the sun is enough.
And as Adrianne pointed out while we were talking about all of this, what we achieve is one way to mark and value the time, but it’s not the only way. And it may not be the most important way.
So we keep doing and trying and fumbling along, thinking about the small moments, trying to pick up the small pieces, and doing the small actions.
And a lot of times we’re going to get it wrong, but maybe we were a little more mindful and intentional than we were the year before.
And that suffices.
If you’re a fan of The Beatles and graphic design, you’re going to love the set of movie posters based on Beatles songs from UK-based artist Mark Reynolds. He calls them an “ongoing series re-imagining Beatles songs as movie posters. Taking inspiration from mid-century graphic designers such as Saul Bass.” It’s hard to pick a favorite, but I think it might be the one for Paperback Writer.
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