while remembering where I've stood this year.
In no particular order.
I stood next to the bed of a friend who lay dying, angry at the end for always coming, but angry only for me, relieved for her that it was almost done. I stood next to a friend twirling in wedding gowns, choosing the perfect one to spin her into a new chapter in her life, watching the laughter in her eyes, the flush on her cheeks. I stood in a bookstore with a magazine in my hand, a magazine in which I'd been published, and I wanted to dance like I was 9, I wanted to open it and show everyone near me and say me, me, see? I stood in my kitchen and cried from exhaustion, working on paintings for a show I dearly wanted, then I stood at that show and thought that no doubt it looked so easy to everyone there. I stood in my own shadow while Unravelling and reached for the sky, and the sky reached back. I stood every week at the veterinarian's office, cat in carrier, money in hand, a small price to pay for continued companionship. I stood in my neighborhood, in flowers dropped from trees in the spring, tiny white catawba blossoms, pink blooms from tulip trees, lavender wisteria; in the summer I stood in bare feet on fallen crepe myrtle blossoms of all colors and in the fall I stood ankle deep in golden ginkgo leaves. I stood outside dancing on a hot July 4th night and I stood outside on Christmas Eve afternoon surrounded by whirling snowflakes. I stood in green suede ballerina flats for the opening of a 2nd art show, a name tag on my shirt declaring me Artist. I stood under trees filled with owls and I stood under trees watching hawks. I stood at a school event, hand on my heart for the National Anthem, and watched those across from me refuse to stand and I felt a chill, a shiver down my spine. I stood under umbrellas through a neverending rainy autumn and I stood in the rain when umbrellas lay forgotten behind locked doors. I stood in flipflops, in shoes sewn of polka dots, in boots, in worn out Keds and tattered flats, in high heels that hurt if I wore hose, in high heels that didn't if I didn't. I stood under full moons and high noons, behind white rabbits and under Katie's blue lights, in showers and in front of mirrors and on two politically incorrect feet. I stood on my own and I leaned on friends. I stood in new places, on unfamiliar ground, and in a place called home. I stood in the beginnings of dreams and on red brick roads hot from the sun. I stood in places not of my choosing and I stood with fear, with loss, with my hands over my face hiding the tears. But I stood.
The new year comes bearing gifts.
Let us open them together and see what we will see.