New Year’s Gifts

“I don’t like my life!” This surprising phrase repeatedly ran through my mind before Christmas. Egads, how could I be thinking something so discontented?

Was it just a variation on “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel!”? Maybe. Or, “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” And along more housewifely lines, “I can’t concentrate on anything productive because the house is so messy!” and even more specifically, realities like, “I want to write, but I can’t find my notebook.”

This new year has started off with a broken computer–an inconvenience that brings gifts: I am forced out of my routine, or rut, and get a boost toward a possibly more likeable life. The other gift is a son with a computer, newly arrived here, so that if I really need to I can use his machine. We and the computer repairman can all relax over a long weekend.

Do the following fall within the definition of resolutions? My feelings don’t appear strong enough to be called resolve, but I do have general good intentions to improve on some things. A lot of the same old things, in fact, though the outward shapes of the projects are revised.

1. Finish making a bedroom into a sewing room.

2. Take the time to sort and organize notes about reading and writing in such a way that I can make use of them; this will require some purging!

3. Be very careful about accumulating any more possessions, because they will just take more of my time for maintenance, and then before I know it, more for sorting and purging.

The new year is a gift of hope. We commemorate the Circumcision of Christ today, which reminds us of God’s covenant with us–and there is no greater Hope! We can be assured that God will be with us, full of grace for every moment and every day we are given. It’s true, we can’t get it beforehand, but we can surely anticipate it.

This poem expressing the confusing natures of time and humankind is also a gift for today.

New Year’s

Let other mornings honor the miraculous.
Eternity has festivals enough.
This is the feast of our mortality,
The most mundane and human holiday.
On other days we misinterpret time,
Pretending that we live the present moment.
But can this blur, this smudgy in-between,
This tiny fissure where the future drips
Into the past, this fly-speck we call now
Be our true habitat? The present is
The leaky palm of water that we skim
From the swift, silent river slipping by.
The new year always brings us what we want
Simply by bringing us along–to see
A calendar with every day uncrossed,
A field of snow without a single footprint.


-Dana Gioia

6 thoughts on “New Year’s Gifts

  1. A blessing in disguise to have your computer broken…nice that your son has one that is usable, just in case! It's amazing how much I use my computer. Just 6 years ago I lived happily without one! I didn't have a digital camera either.


  2. “We commemorate the Circumcision of Christ today, which reminds us of God's covenant with us–and there is no greater Hope.”

    The covenant was only with the male decendants of Abraham and not meant for the rest of humanity.
    30 or so years after His circumcision because of the covenent law, Jesus sacrificed His life to fulfill the covenant law making it no longer necessary to commit circumcision on the least of His brothers. This is why we celebrate Christmas and do not celebrate the circumcision of the innocent. Jesus said on the subject of circumcision “I desire mercy, Not sacrifice.” The Deciples say that if you allow yourselves to become circumcised then Jesus will profit you nothing and His sacrifice will loose value. Infant circumcision is anti-Christ and is the true meaning of the word “Apolypse”.


  3. Fred, that we Orthodox remember–and that is the meaning of commemorate–Christ's circumcision tells you nothing about our views on infant baptism for Christians. We take time to remember everything having to do with our Lord and our salvation history.


  4. Have a most blessed New Year my friend!
    And please forgive me for not doing my part in responding to the kind and appreciated award you gave me! With Christmas and other life cares lately, I'm afraid I've put my blogging on the back burner. Please do know how much I appreciate you and your kind mention of my blog!


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