Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Old Acquaintances and Happy New Year

Happy New Year everyone!

Hope your holidays were festive and filled with family and friends.  Hope your New Year is everything you wish it to be.

About this time of year, as I sweep out all the closets and put away the Christmas ornaments for another year, I remember the people from the last year.  Some are personal, friends and family members whom I expected to be here still and am feeling their absence particularly today.  Some are strangers who were in the news but whose deaths particularly touched us all.

One of those is Gore Vidal, who passed last year.  I've been reading his books this week as a kind of in memoriam.  Last night I finished 'The City and the Pillar'.  Besides being a very insightful journey in the mind of a gay man before the rights movement, it also has a universal theme.  The love he felt in adolescence (and he never thinks of it as 'love', it is much more elemental than that), motivates almost all of his early adult life.  When this is shattered it is as if the foundation of everything is removed.  All he has left is self loathing and fear.  Not the best thing to read during the dark and sometimes depressing days following Christmas, but definitely a good book for the New Year, when I traditionally think about my life and what the hell I think I'm doing here.

It is also appropriate as I finish "If Not for You" which is a very nostalgic book about youth and cynicism and confronting the past.

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