Ghost Year







Oh my, just like that it is 2022. I find that hard to accept. Although I have done a bit more social, a bit more live things, it has fundamentally been almost two years. Two years of masking, of distancing, of staying home, of busy work and isolation. Two years of cooking for myself with the occasional pickup or delivery to break the monotony. Two years of home repairs and reorganization. Two years of loneliness and zooming.

It feels like 2021 was a ghost year. A year that didn’t really happen. Except I feel my age at least a year more, I see my body changing. I feel myself falling into ruts and routines because there is little to break them. Some are healthy, some very much not so. I feel old because the things I used to do that felt young aren’t happening all that much. The apathy of isolation makes motivation toward self-care an often fleeting thing. Perhaps saying so will help.

I am hoping that this new year will allow me to release those things I have been struggling with and to be open to whatever my new reality is. I know that I have no emotional or real time for resentment, envy, negativity, self-pity. But they seem to keep creeping back.

So what is the path to releasing those things that no longer serve me? Letting go of dreams that will never come true and allowing new ones to take their place. What is the way to allow love and happiness to be the guiding principle of my life? I think just keep talking to the people that understand, letting people love me despite myself and accepting that my life is so much better than it could have been or be. Keep writing, keep making music, keep cooking, keep reading.

I am resolved that I will not have another ghost year. I will make memories. With any luck, some dreams will come true. I will love the people in my life. With a little luck, maybe I will travel again. I will try to face every day with gratitude and a little bit of resolve to do better than the day before.

Here’s to 2022.

Squirrel Trafficking and Lost Notes

I had many notes in my phone and in small pads scattered about my life. These are notes of music I want to remember, quotes I liked and the odd things I see. I often wonder if those things are as odd to others as they seem to me.

Here is one:¬† a headline on the news “Squirrel Trafficking Ring Busted.” What? I said. What? you are probably saying.

Does it really matter what the actual content of the article was? I don’t think so. The idea that there might have actually been people trafficking squirrels seemed¬† totally bizarre to me. Why? Is the first question that comes to mind. The next was why is this newsworthy? Why do we care?

I don’t really have answers for these and many other questions that crop up in my mind as I go about my life. The seminal question is: Why do we care?My energy, my mental data banks, are full of caring about the larger things. Climate change, living an affordable life, homelessness, hunger, poverty and the imminence of civil war. My loved ones living with terminal or horribly chronic illness. Okay, that’s off my chest.

But really? Squirrel trafficking? This and many other equally mysterious notes were stored in an app on my phone. I recently got a new phone with the assurance that nothing would be lost. Of course all my notes of the last 3 years are gone. As is all the music I was working on with my guitar player/collaborator. As are all the phone messages from my now deceased mother and my now grown nephew when he was just little.

I found myself devastated with the loss of these things, so carefully preserved and stored. All the ideas for writing about the observed oddities of this country. All the music in progress. The sound of my mother’s voice. So, have I learned my lesson? Store things elsewhere? Not yet. I welcome suggestions. It has to be an app on my phone as that is the tool I carry with me. So much to learn so little time.

Save the squirrels.