31.12.2023

Twenty Twenty Four, What Is It Good For?

If you answered at all, take it as a positive: you’ve still a pulse. Now you can press the humility button and say to yourself I have it all…

Before I get to the new year, allow me to add that it’s the gratitude button I’ve pressed most this past year. It might just be an individual who’s planted all that book seed, but when the budding harvest begins to show itself, one soon knows that helping hands are the most precious thing to bring that harvest in. I launched my debut novel earlier in the year and it was only possible with the commitment and interest of others that allowed it to happen. Thank you to all who came on to support my project, contributed by way of advice, input on editing, artwork, and marketing. Once in the market, there came the feedback about the story itself. Genuine reader reviews render a special kind of respect, producing a felicity that’s (reader advisory: cliché ahead), hard to put into words. With each there’s a personal reminder that the book journey is one of perseverance and patience. Thanks also to the fine folk of independent book stores, so important to independent authors. Finally, to the many friendly and charming faces of the outback that made it such a successful experience taking the book ‘on the road’. Reading for audiences in the libraries of outback towns has been especially gratifying since the book has been received so warmly. For the record, little compares to hearing this rather rarely uttered acknowledgement: “What an achievement, you actually finished the book.” Getting the project over the line…

Indeed, everything is about getting a ‘project’ over the line. When opposing parties eye with desperation, perhaps amongst the greatest of all prizes, there will be collateral damage.

If, through 2023, you discovered a new interest in the US legal system as it methodically assembles itself to bring facts into righting deplorable wrongs, you would add that that there seems to be a hint of sunshine about to break above the horizon. Maybe… They do keep saying maybe—if not so much in words, but in the actions of legal process—and we keep thinking it: maybe… because the to-and-fro of the legal case against the boss man insurrectionist seems to have all the hallmarks of a close-run thing—as if it’s a mere sports match. No, it is in fact blood sports…

Statue of Trump (nude) stands atop a concrete block, upon which are urine stains deposited by appropriately contemptuous passers by

To watch and listen to legal eagles break down the intricacies of multiple cases being brought makes the former president seem once more to be hosting the latest sick reality TV show. But this new 24/7 binge hit, has actual lives actually at stake because Trump’s mewling tantrums have included appalling threats of the worst kind should he win an election. Whatever it might resemble, it is as close a fight to the death as a democracy can be in.

The intensity of legal manoeuvrings is compelling, though simultaneously it is pouring on the hope, even if every other day, or hour, for that matter, it seems to run in the opposite direction; Donny’s repulsive countermeasures of lies and threats, now in the seven figures. How quaint The West Wing seems these days. The cases against the orange bastard are expected to run well into the year. It will be like a ride on a big dipper; ups and downs will abound. Let’s hope we don’t stop with a shudder.

So what do we have with all this?

At the very least, we have two positives: a pulse, and hope.

Two positive’s are enough to get a solid start on 2024. The first: a pulse, gets us out of bed. The second: hope, ought to deliver us some momentum.

And what’s next?

So now arrived at the new year, what can we do to keep the pulse and hope nourished?

My prescription?

I say find nature. Get out of the house and get to a spot where the water’s in a gorge, where it’s quiet save the birdsong, or where the water is between the continents, where the roaring waves are wind blown. Get to where the trees are, get a hit of ‘tree’. Breathe it in, soak it in. Get up at three, take a night walk up a hill. Look east and let the sun water your eyes. Don’t think awhile, just be.

While we have a pulse, we have hope.

TA

An intimate view of a bloodwood eucalypt, nearby the legendary Glenbrook Lagoon