Wednesday, January 05, 2011

2011: Thousands of Futures

There's a lot of buzz right now about the new year: resolutions, house cleaning, and getting fit. For me, it's cacophony. I've been scrambling to get on top (and stay on top) of my world since 2009. It hasn't happened yet. There have been massive to-do lists, endless sorting piles, cleaning frenzies, resolutions and promises. And I still end each day with an overflow pile that leaves me wishing I needed much less sleep. 

And then, I woke up and things felt different. Today the sun is shining, the coffee in the tin is ground. I showered before 9 a.m., which for a work from home writer, is a feat. The piles and boxes in every room of our new house seem to be diminishing. With each trip to the recycling bin comes a small sense of order that is endlessly satisfying. 

Perhaps it's the 90 minute yoga class I attended last night, but I am feeling good. This doesn't mean that I won't spiral back down quickly -- just last Saturday --January 1!-- I was despondent over the book. Would it sell? How to pay the rent?

But today, the world seems bright. And it reminds me of something I posted on January 3, 2010, a passage I love that will continue to carry me (and you?) into another new year:

"Sometimes the days burst open like seedpods and we see thousands of futures, and it's so much that our throats swell and we can't do anything but turn away and forget that gleaming, all that possibility. Who could live into such brightness? Sometimes the days beat their wings slowly so we can take their measure, so we know how lucky we are that we are being given just one moment more."
From The Slippery Year: A Meditation on Happily Ever After, by Melanie Gideon
I was in a very different spot last year: broken heart, life full of disorder.  Now things are different. I fell in love again, and finished writing my book. But I still adore Melanie's words, and thought about them a lot as 2010 was spinning into 2011.  
This wasn't supposed to be a mushy, reflective musing. It was supposed to be a bit about the kick-ass coconut cilantro rice I've cooked two times in 2011. But I guess that's the point  -- isn't it? Sometimes plans go awry, and when they do, it's best to pick yourself up and keep going. We've got a thousand different futures, after all, each of them gleaming and full of good fortune.

Happy New Year. 
P.S. If you want to take some concrete steps to a better 2011, check here. If you want to be more mindful and look a little more carefully at your environment, check here. And if you want to simply focus on the good, try this. xo


a.krebiehl said...

Dear Anne,

This refers to your earlier appeal for filling dinners, but anyway, Happy New Year!

After living for nearly 14 years on this Sceptered Isle it took me until New Years Day 2001 to finally make the colonial classic 'Kedgeree' -- had I knwon how easily knocked together this is and how delish I would not have waited that long!

You need: cooked rice, smoked haddock, hardboiled eggs, curry powder of the desired strength (even though I improvised with cumin, coriander, turmeric, pepper, cayenne, cinnamon & allspice), bayleaves and an onion.

Poach the haddock in simmering water with a bayleaf. In a huge pot, sweat the finely chopped onion in a little of the fish liquid & bayleaf, when soft add curry powder, cooked rice, and flaked haddock, mix well & heat through and top with the quareted eggs. Serve along with some steamed green beans et voila, a filling, quick and good-value, healthy dinner.

Bon appetit from London,


Anne Zimmerman said...

Dear London Anne --
This is intriguing! I can't wait to try it and guess you will inspire others too.
It's going on the list. Thanks and happy new year.

Literary Dog said...

What a great post. I have been feeling the same way.

mek said...

I love that quote - thanks for sharing it. But, I still want to hear about the rice, too! :)

once bitten, twice crushed said...

But what if what I really really want is that cilantro rice recipe? Happy new year and congrats on everything! Hope to see you this year xxxxx