Wish for the new year.
Tonight, I'm going to patrol around my little town, and do what I'm able to do to keep the peace.
On this, the last evening of 2008, I wonder how many others are considering doing the same, for themselves? For, instead of a contemplative pint and perhaps a celebratory kiss of the neighbor near them, it's pretty common to see folks who take this passage of the year as a challenge to remove reason from the equation, through the magic of ancient biochemistry.
Why are we so very reluctant to be alone with our own thoughts?
Even sober, we demand to be distracted from ourselves. Car radios and iPods while driving (with DVDs and video games in the back for the kiddies). Perhaps a quick cell call to someone. If worse comes to worse, even a book on the highway. (
Peace is a damned hard quality to find, within. Yet we claim to hope to find it, or even enforce it (!) without. Interesting.
Hamas is firing rockets into Israeli kindergartens even as the Israeli cabinet meets to discuss the immediate cessation of airstrikes in Gaza, and then claims that the Israelis refuse offers of peace and truce. This isn't even particularly good theatre; Hamas doesn't want peace. Firing rockets 28 miles into a town over the horizon isn't tactically very useful, but it certain pisses off the folks that you'd like portray publicly as your oppressors, eh wot? Very much the same as walking a bomb into a marketplace. It causes retaliation, which is actually what you want. Even that rather ineffective idjit Che Guevara knew that.
I'm drinking today, but only coffee, and lots of it. The warmth and the pleasant buzz of the caffeine go well with this sunny, bright, cool and breezy winter day.
I have regrets from this past year. I regret getting B's in graduate classes that I could certainly have obtained A's in. I regret putting on about 15 pounds that I shall have to cut this spring. I regret some things I've said, and some opportunities that I missed. I've yelled at my kids louder than I should have, and I've failed to give them time when I should have done so.
But I have some things that I'm glad of. I still look down at the daisies, rather than up at 'em. I bought, renovated, and moved into an old house that looks fairly decent these days. I've advanced myself to within two classes and a thesis of my Masters degree, while working. I put a few bad guys in jail, as well as some good guys who just weren't acting right, and I treated them all professionally. (Every one. Even the ones that potentially endangered my family.) I've watched my kids grow, and have taken a pretty strong part in making them grow. My elder daughter can do 25 perfect push ups (she's beginning to practice fingertip push ups), can disassemble and reassemble firearms, and reads voraciously, sometimes in the quiet company of her surprising array of friends. My younger daughter has learned to read, calls her best friend daily, and shows manners. I had something to do with all of that. That gives me peace, friends.
My new year's resolution will be to obtain more peace. Eliminating regrets is one way. But my friend John Shirley says that eliminating desire is another. That's a tall order, right there. And my need for an early Webley .455 is great.
May you have a happy new year. And may peace be with you.