Another year gone and what have I done?
I once wrote a book in a year, about a year, 2017. That book about a year, wasn't only about that year. Past years insinuated themselves, as did dreams for future years. Now another year is done, another year begun.
A strange-looking word, 'year,' or perhaps I'm spelling it wrong, or, it's the repetition factor, the way any word repeated often enough, becomes wonky, improbable, and you find yourself doubting, questioning something so simple as how to spell, pronounce, or properly use, words learned in childhood.
2020 withered much of what I thought I knew, believed I needed, imagined I was capable of. 2020 scrambled lives, livelihoods, plans and aspirations. Cancelled, suspended, moot. 2020, a toxic omelette that refused to congeal. 2020, four numbers that once meant perfect vision, now synonymous with fear, uncertainty, loss, disasters of mythic proportions.
It wasn't the fault of the year, or its numeric name. Human-made constructs for marking time, charting the earth's rotation, the march of days, the sun's rise and fall, the tug of the tides.
2020 took my tongue. Thoughts popped and fizzled. Moot, irrelevant, obsolete. 2021 is but a baby year, a year that has yet to bare its teeth. I hesitate to plan, to aspire. Yet hope springs eternal. Baby steps in the first days of a brand-new, still fresh-smelling, baby year. I revisit 2017, the book about a year, written in a year, a year that like all years, offered time to make meaning of all the years, all the lives. 2017, the first year of Trump's presidency, though I hesitate to call it that, a year that ended with these words:
"I could blame the year. Trump. A tsunami of disasters of biblical proportions. Hurricanes, fires and famine. Mass shootings, genocide, the specter of nuclear war and the normalizing of white supremacy. Glaciers melting at an alarming rate. The apparent death of civility and decency, one tweet at a time. Trump."
GRAY IS THE NEW BLACK (Otis Books, 2019), available from Small Press Distribution or your favorite independent bookstore (paperback) and Amazon Kindle (e-book)
Excerpts from GRAY IS THE NEW BLACK
Dorothy, author of GRAY IS THE NEW BLACK, blogs about the challenges and opportunities of being a woman and a writer of a certain age in a youth-centric universe.