Every December, someone tells me they’ll be glad when the year is over. The first thought is always, ‘It’s not the year. It’s life.’ But this one has been a doozy. Yes, positive strides are in evidence, yet the daily combo of backsliding, global suffering, ecological disasters, fear, violence, and ridiculous politics hover over our collective heads like an iron clad cloud.
With plenty to be thankful for, I do not dare tally up the number of deaths in my little orbit these past twelve months: young, old, disease, natural causes, suicide, the passing of a mentor, and a pedestrian mowed down by a truck. Plus, 2017 marks the disintegration of more than one personal relationship.
Since August, I’ve been on a break from Wild Nature of New York. Along with grim reality, my silence came from facing the indulgence factor in personal writing. All creative energy was funneled into the renovation of my apartment. And in every dusty step I thought about what to write next: articles on healing and well-being, a fictionalization of the life and untimely death of my sister Gretchen, a collection of essays for a book, and too many other ideas to list.
By now, I, too, am relieved to say goodbye to 2017. And it was just last night while talking to my writer friend, John Gibson, that I had a breakthrough. In conversation about politics and journalism, I said, “I’s time to create a new reality.”
To start, inspired by a book John gave me for Christmas, I’ll publish the first piece in a new series next weekend. And oh, what a relief it is. Whether my new works are on the personal as universal, fiction, essays, or journalism, writing is the blood of my being. It’s as inevitable and necessary as the coming of 2018.
Wishing all of you a happy and healthy New Year, Stephanie