I welcomed 2013 in a fever haze alone in a hotel room in Paris, dengue crunching my bones and an unpleasant breakup that had sent me on this mad solo journey to France licking at my heels. I went to Mass at Notre Dame midday and slept through midnight. The room smelled faintly of literal spilled milk, where I had knocked over the tea tray.
New Year’s morning, before catching my train, in the fever jumble where I couldn’t puzzle out time or space, I went to the Gare Centrale far too early, then tugged my small bag through empty streets to find Place des Voges. The square was serene and graceful and light, people sifting softly through, treading their way into morning, a new day. I was jagged. I tried to sit at a cafe, drink a coffee and a bottle of water, was irrationally anxious about the train and bumped my little case back through the streets, somehow perceiving the walk made more sense than a cab.
I made my way home and made a year, filled with stretching and questions and people and moments of pure grace and adventure and new love. I did good work for a lot of good clients, made some missteps when I stuffed too much into the stuff sack of time and attention that is starting to need less jumble, more focus. Wrote my first piece of fiction in 15 years. Visited Africa twice and worshipped the dawn in the plains of Bagan. Refound my running body, ran across the Brooklyn Bridge, on the west edge of Canada, through ancient temples and wild dogs, along the sea in the southern tip of Africa. Rode my bike from Lake Simcoe to Toronto in a community of generous souls. Full and rich.
I found a file with my intentions for 2013, the digital equivalent of chicken scratchings, half formed in that hotel room in Paris. The gibberish of a dream, but suffused with yearning. This year’s intentions are much crisper. About living with more purpose moment to moment, taking that overfilled stuff sack and creating more space. Valuing what I have here, now, in front of me. Some simple practices like actually reading the books I already own, instead of adding to the bouquet whim by whim. Trying to start each day with a least a moment’s meditation and setting of intentions. More space and quiet between the thrusts of my life. Trying to bring my most upright self to the things I choose to do. Compassion. Joy.