Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Turning Over a New Leaf and Seeing Pink Elephants

The film T.E. Lawrence: "Nothing is written."

The film Sherif Ali: "Truly, for some men nothing is written unless THEY write it."

And so we come to another new year. Time to turn the page, as they say, to turn over a new leaf.

For we Readers, and that’s with a capital “R,” the idea that life is a series of a new, blank, Moroccan-bound, gold leaf volumes is very appealing. We each have a personal shelf in the great bookcase in the sky, with these handsome volumes sitting side by side, like a set of encyclopedias of yore. They are not all the same width—-some years will have more going on than others. And we don’t know how many volumes are sitting there . . . .

But that’s not important. What is important is the gift of those beautiful, inviting blank pages, and the writing implements of all sorts that we are supplied with: passions, needs, desires, talents, responsibilities, devotions, dreams. Each of these will help us to write our life story.

In the Beginning was the Word . . . .

It seems the primacy of the text is longstanding. Who are we to say otherwise?

And there is great pleasure too, as Monsieur Barthes tells us. “The Pleasure of the Text: like Bacon’s simulator, it can say: never apologize, never explain.

Is not the most erotic portion of a body where the garment gapes?”

Oh yes, the gapes. And the gapes in the text, my favorite place---

Best Wishes to Everyone for life volume 2008.

Tennyson (abridged) sums up the drama and hope of the new year , and we’ll give Rea Levin the last 1,000 words, his cover from 70 years ago today that had the babe of 1938 atop the pink elephant of too many martinis.

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light:
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind,
For those that here we see no more;
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.

4 comments:

blue girl said...

Wonderful post, MA.

Happy New Year!

kathleenmaher said...

Such a lovely point of view, M.A. You always lift my spirits, even today, when I'm already feeling good.
Wishing you only the best for this year's text. Let the bound pages fill to a wonderful thickness full of nothing but brilliance. Happy 2008!

dorki said...

"... Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good."

Thanks so much for this inspirational quote! I was already hopeful for a year of change for the better but that gave it an extra boost.

M.A.Peel said...

I am so glad to see that in this tiny corner of blogosphere, we've all got good vibes, good feelings for this year. May we hang on to the sunny side for as long as possible, say the next 365 days at least.