So 2009 is here at last. A few months ago, a few weeks ago, I had expected to be looking at this day through dark glasses, skulking in the shadowy parts of the street with my brow furrowed like a recalcitrant teenager. My mood, however, is surprisingly light.
Sometimes a moment in time, an entire year, can be personified into something that perhaps it is not as we blame and condemn it for the ills that have befallen us. 2008 was such a year for many.
Economic malaise, war, poverty, hunger, environmental uncertainties, birth, death, the end of the world as we know it. Can one year survive the assault of such spyglass intensity?
2008 was a difficult year for me in many ways but I would be hard pressed to name one year of my life thus far that had just consisted of sunshine, unicorns, lollipops, rainbows, and skipping along country lanes.
I learnt one very important thing in 2008. A thing I needed to learn. Being afraid is not so frightening.
Fear strikes us in many ways – when failure threatens, when we experience change, when we are challenged, when we step out of our comfort zone, when we open the door and do not recognise our surroundings.
But fear can be harnessed if you just step into it. Boldly. Wildly. With abandon. You can smell it. You can taste it. You could touch it if you tried hard enough and it can’t do anything back to you but acknowledge your willingness to tackle it.
There’s a peculiarity about the things we fear. Once we step towards them they retreat, crashing and lurching away from us like wild beasts in the underbrush, terrified of losing the power they have over us.
Fear allows self doubt and self belief to engage in a WWE smackdown in our heads,
but once we own it, feel it, and do what we need to do anyway, all bets are off and self belief is the clear winner.
Last night I went to the park by the Bay with some friends to watch the fireworks. It was a pleasant summer’s night. The sky was dusky blue. The reflection from car headlights were seized and held just below the surface of the water as the cars crossed the bridge. It was how waterlilies would appear if they were actually stars.
A baby, probably only about one year old, toddled about, laughing as children lit sparklers. She had one little tooth that glimmered like a seashell. She was holding the smallest light sabre I have ever seen. Petite as she was. She was a Bubba Jedi.
A Lebanese family had brought along a portable barbecue and were sending out the most glorious smells of garlic and lamb. Children walked on the breakwater, arms out like acrobats, drawn to the water and the open sky.
When the fireworks started they were bursts of the colour that only occurs in dreams, deeper than real life, full of celestial goodness, galaxies brought all the way down to earth.
As the crowd gazed, agog – I looked straight up above and saw hundreds of fruit bats, disturbed by the booms and zings, scrolling clockwise through the sky like the crema settling on coffee. In a deliberate, protective pattern.
When the fireworks stopped the bats dispersed and the sky returned to deep blue. Tiny little whorls of white appeared here and there as if the surface of the moon had been tapped and moon dust was falling.
People mulled together. Laughing, drinking, clutching at one another in a contented way. I knew all of those people and I were thinking the same thing :
It’s a new day that might just be better than the last one.
HAPPY NEW YEAR
This year, even if I am afraid, I will not forget to see the sky, gathering its white edges into blue. I wish you all much happiness and many moments of peace.
I grapple with fear. This post sums up my attitude towards it.
Best line ever in a reality show.
“If you can’t get over the fear you are just going to have to do it afraid.”
I wish you a fulfilling and brilliant 2009.
Even though my fears of an uncertain future continue to challenge me,yesterday I got to see a male and female cardinal sharing a small Poha berry from a bush I planted earlier this year . For a moment everything seemed to be just perfect.
Happy New Year Selma !!!!!!
I never thought in my wildest dreams would I read in a Selma post these words, “WWE smackdown.” Hmmm seems like it will be a better and exciting New Year just from that bit of hilarity. Kisses and love and the best to you, sweetie (did you get my email? just curious–having tech issues!)
NAT – I love that line. It is hilarious. Sounds like something from ‘Fear Factor.’ I used to watch that (sad but true) but couldn’t get over people having to eat all those bugs. Just far too gross. Hope you have a terrific 2009, Nat!
PUNATIK – that would have been a magic moment, indeed. I have never seen a red cardinal in the wild as they are not native to Australia but have seen them in books and on TV. How beautiful they are. I would’ve been beside myself to see that. I am smiling just thinking about it!!
LURAGANO – shocking, isn’t it? Next thing I’ll be doing a post about Hulk Hogan. What is the world coming to? I did get your email. Please excuse my slackness – I haven’t been checking my emails. It was great to hear from you!
We saw the Sydney fireworks on television, then on YouTube at http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=6-WJDu0f8I0 . And, I’m afraid I thought, there’s no way we can top that, and went to bed early!
Selma you have exactly summed up my own theme for his year- why miss out because of fear? I try to tell myself- What is the worst thing that can happen if I do this? Then- Can I handle that? And then proceed.
A fearless 2009. Let’s get started, My Dear.
You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.
I went through a stage last year where I tried to do something at least once a week that scared me or challenged me. It was quite liberating. The one fear I can’t seem to conquer though is my fear of storms. That one seems to be a deal breaker.
Fear isn’t necessarily a bad thing its how we deal with it that matters as I think your post shows. I like your description of the fruit bats. Best wishes for 2009
TRAVELRAT – what can I say? You know how we Sydneysiders like to show off. Happy New Year!!!!
LAURI – a fearless 2009 sounds marvellous. It’s time to grab the bull by the horns and all that other rousing stuff. Let’s go for it, hon!
ROMANY – I love that quote and I love that you challenged yourself like that. It is liberating to conquer our fears whatever they may be. fear of storms is a tricky one though. I mean, some storms can be quite dangerous. I would put that one down to self-preservation rather than fear. Happy New Year!!!
CRAFTY GREEN – the fruit bats are the most contradictory of creatures. Ugly and cute at the same time. Their wings and gray and hideous but their little faces are adorable. I will admit to being fascinated by them. Hope you have a wonderful New Year!!!!
CRAFTY GREEN – I meant to say their wings ARE gray and hideous. It’s been a long day. Very hot….
sounds like a wonderful evening to ponder over and get some perspective, I hope you have success in getting your book finish and publish, good luck and may happiness and creativity be with you always, happy new year!
i’ve got my fingers and my toes crossed for both of is!!!!!!!!
happy new year my friend….
What a great post – fear is a constant in my brain right now but hopefully in the new year I will conquer it…As I was told last night 2009 is going to be a much better year and I thought it better be, how can it be worse than last year.
I wish you a very successful New Year and can’t wait to read that novel of yours!
“But fear can be harnessed if you just step into it. Boldly. Wildly. With abandon. You can smell it. You can taste it. You could touch it if you tried hard enough and it can’t do anything back to you but acknowledge your willingness to tackle it.”
I’m going to keep this in my mind now as I face my fears. You’re inspiring me to run against them, instead of with them.
Happy new year.
Everyday is a new day – I’m glad to hear you’re looking for blue skies too. 😉 hehe
For me, 2008 was about defining the fear. Things I thought I feared, wasn’t really what I was afraid of, and things I had never considered gripped my heart. It was illuminating. I’ve faced a few of them, conquered some, but truthfully, I’ve got a lot of work to do.
But I’m getting there. I wish you well too – I hope you had a peaceful happy New Yrs Day.
LISSA – that is what I wish for you. Happiness and creativity always. Hope you have a wonderful 2009!!!
PAISLEY – me too. We deserve a break, don’t we? I mean, really. It’s time. For both of us!!!!
TBALL- you are facing a fear that most of us hope we never have to face. Yet you do it with such dignity and grace. I am in awe of your courage.
VIC – you have made my day by saying that. Run, Vic. Run. Happy New Year, hon!!
TEXASBLU – I wish you well for this year, I really do. You have helped me more times than you know. Defining the fear is so important because when it’s abstract, unnamed, it’s much more terrifying. Thank you for your wisdom.
Happy New Year, Selma. Your post summed things up nicely, as I know this will be a big, kind-of scary year here as well.
My best to you, your family, and your readers. May this be the year we ALL look back and say, “Wow! What a GREAT ride!”
And TBALL, healing energy is coming your way.
Happy New Year to you and your family!!
Hello my friend! Good to be back here on a new years day. Sorry to have been away for sometime. 2008 was quite a roller coaster ride in so many ways and I felt the need to get off the train for a moment and take a breather. But I wanted to stop by and say hello and wish you and your family a happy new year. Take care and I’ll see you soon.
Here’s to a new start and a new year and a new way of seeing!
Isn’t that amazing, 2009!!! Wow, I can remember when I was a “youngin” thinking that when the year 2000 rolled around I would be soooooooooooooo old LOL 😉 I’m glad that thought past, after all it’s 9 years later now.
Happy Happy New Year to you and your family dear Selma; it’s gonna be a good one, I can tell. Ours is starting off in a very interesting way, fingers-crossed, yes indeedy!
PS: Did you receive an email re: a poem I had written re: Memories? I wondered what you thought. BFN and Hugs, G
KAREN – it’s going to be scary, but fun as well, I suspect. I hope it’s going to be one of those years where I go half way through: ‘Oh yeah, that’s what I’m talking about!’ Thanks for thinking of dear TBall.
MELEAH – Happy New Year to you too. I hope this is a wonderful year for you!!!
CHRIS – you have made my day. It is so great to hear from you. You won’t believe this but the other day I caught Nick humming in the garden. He was humming your song – ‘You Left Me Standing In The Rain.’ I’m so pleased you are OK. Hope you had a wonderful New Year!!
GROOVY – absolutely, Groovy. I am with you all the way!!!!
GERALDINE – I sent you an email about your lovely poem. I will check to see if it went through as it was around the time my wireless was playing up. Onward and upward in ’09!
No email arrived here Selma, 😦 do resend when you can. I really appreciate your feedback. Hugs, G
“We have nothing to fear but fear itself”
GERALDINE – glad you got the email second time around.
RICHARD – one of my fave quotes ever!!!