Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year's Eve!

As 2009 closes, I'm thinking about what kind of year it was and about how profoundly grateful I am. Last year at this time, I saw my first movie after the hospital, Slumdog Millionaire which didn't thrill me like The Wrestler did, but I was out in the world again which meant everything. The year is what the coaches call a rebuilding year; I spent a lot of time finishing projects, planting seeds. On my desk, there's the glass orb from my mother's old necklace with a mustard seed inside it. I don't remember how I came to get this particular piece of jewelry, but I remember loving it as a child. For all my mother's external toughness, she had a core fragility and distrust, and she never quite could believe other people's love for her, but she kept trying which is something. Which makes me think of Solomon writing that a living dog is better than a dead lion. Every moment gives us a chance to rewrite the script, to try harder, to love better. How glad I am that I still have a chance!

So I dedicate this last entry of 2009 to all my loved ones who accept me as I am, flaws and all. One of my favorite pieces of advice is that you have to give people the vices that accompany their virtues. And through writing this blog, I give you some access to the vices, the virtues, the whole catastrophe. And I can't begin to list all the kindnesses done for me over the year by friends and strangers. I got my wallet returned after leaving it at a post office. Someone flagged me down handed me my camera at the airport after I left it on the seat. In low moments, a friendly comment on the blog gets me through the day. When I arrived in Detroit many years ago, I had to navigate the city alone in a crappy car with a donut tire. This was before cell phones or GPS systems, and I barely had any money. The guy at the gas station on Mack Avenue gave me a free map that his tow truck drivers used. I walked outside into a light October snow, the dying light of the afternoon. Opening my map, I realized I could go almost anywhere. Friends were all around me, waiting for me to recognize them.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"Don't look where you fall, but where you slipped." African Proverb

Cocktail Hour

The J Spot (for my dearest Jodi!)
one part Godiva white chocolate liqueur
one part Three Cherries vodka
one part hot chocolate
garnish with a cherry

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy New Year's Eve from me and Baby Grouchie!


the walking man said...

Be Well this night PD, now and forevermore. You've paid your dues and now your year of successes approaches.

Don't you wish you were here so you could pop off a few rounds with the other locals. No road map needed.

Tim said...

Happy New Year Michelle!

Lana Gramlich said...

Happy New Year, Michelle. Thanks for reminding us that not everyone's an SOB & that adversity is also opportunity!

jodi said...

Dear Sweets and Grouchie! Even before I got to my custom cocktail recipe, (more on that later!) I knew that I was going to tell you that this is my favorite kind of "Michelle" post. I love it when you expose yourself and all your vulnerabilites and what you have learned from the experience. You have a ability to even make the worst things seem tender--also to stand outside yourself and look back in! It's so cool, Doll. My post this week will talk about my cocktail. It's delicious! Thanks again, Hon. xoxo

Charles Gramlich said...

A "rebuilding year." What a great name for it. I wish I'd thought of that connection.

Anonymous said...

your anonymous friend from Berlin