…it was the worst of times. And now December is here at last. Everyone begins to breathe a collective sigh of relief that this nightmare year is almost over. Magical thinking is human nature. Just get this year over, things will be better. Don’t step on the cracks. Count the magpies. Avoid the black cats. Everything is gonna be alright.
We all know our beloved actors, musicians and public figures will continue to die. Trump doesn’t take The White House until January and Brexit hasn’t even begun yet. Peaceful protestors will still freeze under water cannons, babies will still die in refugee camps, bombs will still rain on besieged cities. The huge outpouring of grief at the deaths of Bowie, Prince and Leonard Cohen can seem crass when every day innocent people are dying in conflict torn places like Syria, Yemen and Iraq. But art, and in particular music, is where people find solace and try to make sense of the world. Sometimes we need to find beauty to combat the horror, and we mourn the beauty when it dies, in a way that we cannot mourn the death of a child we don’t know in a country a thousand miles away.
2016 has been a hard year in many ways, and yet in my own personal snow globe it has been a year of positive change. I am lucky and thankful for all that I have. My writing career has started to take off (albeit in small but exciting increments). I have moved to a new house, made some fantastic new friends and had good times with old ones. My children are both happy and healthy. The sadness and confusion of 2016 does not touch them. My daughter likes Harry Potter, swimming lessons, chocolate and loves herself just the way she is. My son likes squirrel nuts, ladybugs, trains and loves his sister. He sleeps hugging his muzzy, a security blanket to keep the dark away.
The world could do with a collective muzzy as we enter 2017. There is so much dark.
As I write this, I feel 2016 still has one more cruel plot twist for us, one final fuck you.
But here’s an idea. Why not fight the darkness?
Give darkness the finger.
Just by being nice. Be kind. Help someone. Listen, don’t shout. Be thankful. Be grateful. Be gracious. Be gentle. Be generous. Give. Hug. Love.
It feels good. Trust me.
I wish you all a happy, healthy and peaceful Christmas and New Year, wherever and whoever you are. Hold your dear ones tight and don’t be afraid of the dark xx