Always Leaving

There are many, many things that I want to say on the eve of the eve of a new year. I can’t say them all, there isn’t enough time or space here and you would grow weary before too long if I tried.

I don’t really much like the whole year recap thing. A year is a beautiful, organic, crazy enterprise and to live one takes a lot of courage and stamina because so many days are so hard.


I am making some changes moving into 2019 and I don’t know yet if they’re good ones but I think they are. I have my leaping shoes on and I’ve filled up my knapsack with faith, which has become as indispensable as air to me. Honestly, given all of the weirdness and madness and sickness in this world, I have no idea how anyone lives without it.

The thing that tells me I’m doing the right thing is that it’s a little bit terrifying. That several times a day I stop and look around and think, “What on earth am I doing?” That’s how I know I’m on the right track, that my schemes for the new year are good ones and worthy of my bravery: I’m feeling both terror and excitement.

I have a lot to be grateful for. My kids are good people, my parents are alive. I have the finest, most beautiful friends and most of them know what I want done when I die. My brothers and sister and their kids are so great; I am loved and I know it.

We are going to New York today, Nate and I, to smell everything and see some stuff before he heads back to school in Montana. To hear some music and eat some food and be together. Not for the ball drop or any of that craziness, we’ll be on a train out of the city before that gets underway. We’re going to see The Lone Bellow who sing a great song called Time’s Always Leaving. That seems a good way to acknowledge the ending of one year and our movement into another.

My two youngest nephews, who were just here for a few days from California, call me Woo Hoo. I’m always afraid that they’ll figure out that it’s not my real name and start calling me plain old Melissa. It’ll happen eventually but I hope that they’ll always hold that memory—that in the early days my name was synonymous with an expression of glee.


I have in my head tonight the words of a 14th century mystic/hermit/lover of music called Richard Rolle who said something along that lines of … to love God involves three things: warmth, song and sweetness.

So I guess that those are the things I wish for us in this new year: more of all of that stuff: the courage to do terrifying things, glee and warmth and song and sweetness. Welcome 2019.