Signed up here a year and a month ago, then didn’t come back to it until tonight. So, happy new year, and welcome to 2014. I meant to use this as a place to draw off some of the buildup in my head when it got too crowded up there. My own personal “pensieve,” a la Dumbledore. Then, in the way of a bear with very little brain, I promptly forgot about it. And, boy, have there been times when I could have used it.
I spent a good part of today watching the Mummers’ Day Parade, streaming from Philly. Made me so happy. It always annoys me that you can watch the Rose Bowl on three stations and the Mummers’ nowhere. At least now I can watch from my desktop.
It inspired me to do a bit of research on Mummers’ history. In the 19th century, there were African American bands. This is what Wikipedia says: “While the parade has clear African-American influences and features a theme song by a black composer, almost all parade participants are white. The earliest parades were not. The all African American Golden Eagle Club, formed in 1866, had 300 members in the 1906 parade. With the nadir of American race relations, the last black groups marched in 1929.
It’d be great to see the return of bands like the Golden Eagle Club, but it’s also the case that the clubs seem to be having more and more trouble coming up with funding and the parade itself has had major glitches in that realm. You never know, though. It’s a tradition worthy of continuing, steeped as it is in old ways, among them being my favorite, irreverence for the status quo.
Women weren’t in the parade either, when I was a kid. Now, they seem to be pretty much integrated into the clubs.
I made chicken soup, initially for Joanna, who’s getting over a nasty chest cold. We kept a good portion of it, after sending her home with a pot of it. It’s sooooo good. It violates the folklore on new year’s day food luck. Don’t buy that, as it’s all about progress and such. Not something I’ve ever thought of as the way life goes. Onward and upward doesn’t cut it; life spirals, in my experience, cycling from season to season and back to the beginning again. So, I’m OK with chicken for today’s meal.
Late this evening, Michael and I went out to the fire pit and consigned what we want to leave in the past to the fire. I also added some intentions for the new year to it. The sand and ash in the pit were very wet and we had little luck getting the fire really going. But it was enough to burn our prayers.
It was the follow-up to last night, when we had a good time just hanging out, taking a walk with Mick, and talking about dreams, insights and our hearts, with each other. Best time I’ve had on new year’s eve in years.
I’m feeling my way with this, aware that I can say anything I want, but also aware that it’s available to anyone who stumbles onto it. So, it’s an odd mix of freedom and constraint I sense. I’m writing all this as an exercise in how to do this. Guess it doesn’t matter whether anyone else finds in interesting. Eventually, that will matter. For now, baby steps.
So, as I began, happy new year, and may we all find peace, joy, love and a sense of purpose in the coming months.