On New Year’s Eve

Providence is frozen tonight. Nothing moves unless it shivers. Time has stopped and so have the wheels of change.

It is bitterly cold out and everything is covered in an armor of snow. Every branch, every twig, every trembling leaf bears a white helmet of it. Invisible rabbits and deer have left Morse code in it: “once, we were here and we ran.”

The sky is dark except for the city’s orange aura.

Welcome to New Year’s Eve three paces north of Providence, Rhode Island. My fingers keep hitting the wrong keys because I am numb. The cold isn’t a temperature, it’s a state of existence that forced water heat and cups of coffee, even in excess, were not designed to contend with. It is 72 degrees here in my apartment, and I shiver.

Tonight I am home alone with my two cats. When the ball drops in Times Square I’ll be watching it on TV, under a blanket. Ten years ago I would have shuddered at the thought. I’ve had a bad cold for the past few days, though, and a quiet night doesn’t seem like a bad deal right now.

I have this unshakable feeling that all hell is about to break loose in my life. I’ve been sitting on a volcano of change and it’s going to blow. My seat is getting warm. Often I feel like change will never come, but as Victor Hugo said, “nothing is more imminent than the impossible.” For after the tectonic slowness of change buried unseen within the earth, one day, an explosion! It happens just that way. In a week, or a month, I might well be wishing for a night of solitude. So maybe savoring this particular night in silence is a good way to say goodbye to the old and welcome the new.

I don’t know why I’m telling you all this, to quote The Perks of Being a Wallflower’s narrator. This is supposed to be one of those New Year’s messages — a thank you for reading, liking, following, being a friend. And to you bloggers, screenwriters, writers, photographers and artists — for your inspiration. As humble (and halting) as this blog is, it’s introduced me to dozens of other bloggers already, and so many new worlds. It’s been well worth the effort I’ve put into it; then some.

So I’ll keep this short and wish you and yours a 2013 that contains somewhere in it your heart’s desire. I’ll add a plea: continue writing, sculpting, photographing, dancing — whatever it is you do that shows people how to see and think differently. As creative people, we suggest the possible. Not the probable, or the preferable, or God forbid the correct. The possible.

Paraphrasing someone, when the world is frozen in winter we breathe warmly on it to remind it that there’s something called spring. In an instant, everything changes.


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