“The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.
-from The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam -
Every New Year's Eve I tend to take stock of the year that has just passed. What did I accomplish? What did I learn? Am I on the "right" track? And what, prey tell, will I be taking forward with me into the New Year? NYE 2015 was no different. And now, in the bright, clear light of the first day of 2016, I find myself staring once again at the blank calendar of a new year waiting for me to write my story as the Moving Finger moves along.
Nothing is so daunting as putting down that first word. What word do you choose? Surely it will set the tone for the entire work ahead. You think it might be the beginning of something amazing to the world of literature. Then you realize it might better be used to line the parakeet's cage. Whatever it is, it is nothing until your "moving finger" opens to the Moving Finger and lets the words flow.
And I find this does not only apply to the written word. It applies to whatever you might find yourself doing on the first day of a new year (read: a new beginning).
This year I found myself in Santa Barbara house-sitting for some friends away for a few days. My intention was to sit down and write. Also, I would go out and do some photography, create some images and update my blog. I relished the idea of being on my own, alone, like some artists I've read about tend to do. A personal retreat. My and my dog, Tater. With George the resident bulldog. Long walks to the beach and on the nearby mesa. A time to ponder, reflect and meditate on the inspirations I have burning inside, yearning to spill out in whatever form my artist self imagines.
And so it happened I found my muse. It is always near, waiting. Usually it greets me with "Where the heck have you been? I've been waiting." And not too patiently it would seem. But sometimes a gentle shove or hard kick in the butt is just what the heavens decree.
So, gentle reader, the Moving Finger is writing still. It does not care whether or not I engage with it. It will write the history of my action or inertia no matter what. And there you have it. With a new year already a day old, I am engaging. I refuse to call this a resolution, although resolve does play a significant role in all this. It is an epiphany, one which I am wont to have. Every year on January first. And what will be, will be, (thank you Doris Day), whether I rise to the occasion or not.
Let's toast 2016 and all the wonder things yet to be written, by the Moving Finger or by my own hand.