Shake Well the Breaking East; An Open Letter to 2014
Each year gives us new dice ready to throw. We have them in our hand but as what they will land we do not know; who we have yet to meet, places to become familiar, aspects of ourselves unknown. I do not fear death as much as being bored with life, and the year ends up as whatever superfluity of creative power we have to bring that year about. It is not cooked and served upon a plate for us to eat through the months. It will be whatever you have in your capacity to make the year. We live throwing sunlight on to shadows. If we live with dice in our palms, the true art of life is to shake them well. A man has as much hope to prosper in his new world which was made hour by hour, as in any existing one ridden with all the conformist men of society who climb upon each other’s backs – so long as he has confidence in all his first steps. Sometimes it is not the number that the dice fall on but that we threw them in the direction of our choosing, and that we were spirited enough to gamble chance and throw hard in the direction of our dreams. I enjoy most to wake up a stranger to the yearly frontiers of my own life, and to be new to my circumstances often. “Life is a series of surprises,” said Emerson “the years teach what the days never know.” Often people ask what I have done or am to do, and I cannot answer them well. I do not remember or expect my life, but live in it. More often nature or life is the better calculator. All things go by turns, and today I am beginning what yet I do not know will become, but I will someday trace its course back to this moment. I was born years ago but every new year in my life feels to be its initial. Every year born with a new heart for possibility. I said a short time ago “Life is like a river; wherever there is a closed path it will find new open space to continue on.” Man can never be truly lost if he still lives. Even the darkest path with what seems the shortest road left, finds road beneath its steps wherever it walks so long as it insists it will walk on. Strife is constant yet out of itself creates a harmonious effect to bring all the pleasures of life along with it. Accept that strife is no mistake, it is THE part of life that creates all things. And I would take the roughest, turbulent life pursuing the risk of hard won dreams, than the ensured misery in acquiring what was only a vision of safety and comfort in any other enterprise. We are always becoming, and each year are once more new, and no one can know what you are capable of but yourself. Put coal under pressure and heat and in so doing becomes diamond. And a harder more precious stuff was made. We make promises to ourselves, and what we sought after becomes this which we least predicted. Though we promise, life seems to be the fulfiller, sometimes granting what we wished and sometimes not. But often works out best when you trust its course and method. The scope of my life is more than I can know in one day. And even this morning’s hardships might have steered towards tomorrow’s blessing. Not even rivers run straight in their course. Every event conceals the next. Life is a dreamer too, and often dreams bigger than we could have dreamed ourselves. At our first step it has dreamed up fifty ahead, and we cannot see through the day to what gifts the year might bring. Time-old Heraclitus said “the sun is new each day.” And 2014 arrives and we say goodbye to 2013 like the adult grown mayfly that passes once the new born arrives. All the adventures are one’s own: what will be yours? Up again new heart! and up again new sun! Shake well the breaking east.
December 30th 2013