Saturday, January 1, 2011

Welcome, 2011

It's here. I started my new notebook this morning. I don't have a special magical saying yet to guide me through the year, but I do have my special magical word: "grope."

My special magical saying for last year proved to be all too prophetic. I don't even know where I read it, but I wrote it down anyway, without attribution, and here it is: "Charles Darwin told us that it is not the strongest of the species that survives, not the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change." And then I went on to have a year absolutely crammed full of nothing but change.

For the year before, I took this line from the wonderful memoir, To Love What Is, by Alix Kates Shulman, her account of her life with her beloved but now brain-damaged husband. In the book she gives this definition of luck, which became my talisman for the year. She said luck is something "we continually manufacture by our stubborn resistance to viewing our lives as other than blessed." Pretty wonderful, huh?

I did look up quotes about adventure, since I'm planning for the coming year to be one of adventure for me. I found these:

"Man cannot discover new oceans until he has the courage to lose sight of the shore" - Andre Gide
"An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered." - G. K. Chesterton
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.” — Mark Twain
“It is never too late to be who you might have been.” — George Eliot
“And the day came when the wish to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” — Anais Nin
“The only question in life is whether or not you are going to answer a hearty ‘YES!’ to your adventure.” — Joseph Campbell

I don't know if any of these is going to be IT, my quotation for the year. The last two years I stumbled upon mine in the course of living my ordinary, everyday life. But I do especially like that George Eliot one, and the Joseph Campbell one.

I used to describe myself as a "yay-sayer to the universe," and that's what I want to be again. Right now, on this first day of 2011, I'm planning on answering a hearty YES to everything.


  1. This post reminds me of Dag Hammerskjold's remark, "For all that has been, thanks. For all that will be, yes." Even when what has been was painful, difficult, or embarrassing, it brought me here. And I should say "Yes" to all incoming adventures.

  2. Beautiful lines - thanks so much for sharing them. "For all that will be, yes." Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!!!

  3. Michael and I have really been enjoying your blog over the holidays. We find it completely enchanting to be in your head :) Yes, yes, yes, 2011!

  4. I agree wholeheartedly with Amanda's comment about the enchantment of exploring your thoughts.