Another season has come to an end. The last show has been completed. The last package has shipped. The studio is cluttered with the detritus of a creative free for all, and I’m already dreaming of new designs and planning for the shows of 2013. I’m another year older and another year wiser, but I confess that this year, more than any, I would trade that wisdom for the innocence of youth. I want nothing more than to recapture the excitement of Christmas Eve at my grandparents’ and the wonderment of which bright light in the sky must be Rudolph’s nose. But this year, on top of national tragedies, there is also personal tragedy. A season designed for joy has become something we can just hope to find comfort in, as friends and family gather to protect each other from and to weather the storm of life’s senseless cruelties.
I’ll be honest with you. I tend to be sadly amused by the outrage incited by media exploitation of current events. Where is that outrage when just one single mother/daughter/sister/friend is taken from us? Because every day innumerable individuals are lost in every manner of ways– from malice to carelessness to old fashioned bad luck. Healthy, honest indignation is a battle that should be raged every day against even life’s pettiest misdeeds and oversights. And this is a simple thing to do that requires neither the Facebook share button nor the signing of the myriad of meaningless online petitions that spring up in dire times. Tragedy is a private and personal war that will not be won. Tragedy is a metal plate, a scar, a permanent piece of us that needs to be reconciled and accepted as a now eternal part of our new self. Yet, tragedy is not all bad. It begets introspections and art. There are questions and sometimes answers, if you are lucky or prayed to the right deity. It provides a framework from which we can become better people.
I purchased a painting recently from an artist I admire. Our Christmas tree is a ridiculous nod to custom that reflects my family perfectly. I have a multitude of new hooked rug designs floating about in my head. All are but a few things I had hoped to share with a woman who is no longer with us, but who is by no means lost to us. Every day, those of us who love her will be made better for having known her, learning from both her flaws(for who among us is truly flawless?) and the poetic grace she brought to her life and those she shared it with.
A New Year is always a time and season of change. Sometimes, though, life changes more than we bargained for. My wish for all of us is a quiet strength from which we can love, act, and grow in the New Year.