By Linda Pastan
For Jews, the Cossacks are always coming.
Therefore I think the sun spot on my arm
is melanoma. Therefore I celebrate
New Year's Eve by counting
my annual dead.
My mother, when she was dying,
spoke to her visitors of books
and travel, displaying serenity
as a form of manners, though
I could tell the difference.
But when I watched you planning
for a life you knew
you'd never have, I couldn't explain
your genuine smile in the face
of disaster. Was it denial
laced with acceptance? Or was it
generations of being English--
Brontë's Lucy in Villette
living as if no fire raged
beneath her dun-colored dress.
I want to live the way you did,
preparing for next year's famine with wine
and music as if it were a ten-course banquet.
But listen: those are hoofbeats
on the frosty autumn air.
Having woken up with both kids coughing, we decided reluctantly that going to New York was probably a bad idea; I don't think either of my children is seriously ill and they're good travelers even when they're not feeling well, but they are sure to pass their colds on to my sister's three children, which is the last thing any of them need. Now to come up with some way to keep them entertained.
You are a Folkie. Good for you.
What kind of Sixties Person are you?
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PastSigel - Victory, power, strength, health, the rune of the sun, vitality, drive to work and produce.
PresentEhwaz - Abrupt changes, moving into new home and environment, travel, swift change in situation.
FutureLagaz - Intuition, imagination, success in studies, creativity, vitality and passion (especially for women).
Cast the runes here:
1. What was your biggest accomplishment this year?
Actually going places that I've said all my life I would get to.
2. What was your biggest disappointment?
That I did not get off my ass and work seriously on my writing. I mean, I did a ton of writing, fiction and non-fiction, for work and for play, but I was very lazy about making myself work on the stuff that really matters.
3. What do you hope the new year brings?
World peace, an electable Democratic candidate, a better economy, a wonderful job opportunity.
4. Will you be making any New Year's resolutions? If yes, what will they be?
Why, to lose the weight I said I was going to lose last year, of course. No resolutions -- I do better at doing things in their own time.
5. What are your plans for New Year's Eve?
We spent the evening at home with my mother and my children. Our plans were always somewhat along those lines...maybe watch a movie, maybe have a big meal, but we were never going out partying anyway.
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I mean, how is it possible not to squee?