The New Year has brought with it a sense of renewal, a feeling that this year could pan out much better than last. There is even the sense of relief that I'll be avoiding last year's mistakes - how could I not! There is basically an overriding sense that I can accomplish anything. It doesn't last long, however, not much further than January 2nd, and yet those moments have at least resulted in a plan, goals trailing behind my plan like tin cans attached to a wedding car. If nothing else there will be new experiences, new places to visit and novel ways of stepping outside the straight jacket of routine and it's a sensation that sits in my chest like a lit sparkler. Newness. Perhaps, a second chance.
I'm reminded of a short poem my grandfather would often quote me: Your life lies before you like a path of driven snow; be careful how you tread it, because every mark will show. It has now, as it did then, the habit of immobilising me. So I hover for a while in the world of possibilities, a world that remains a close cousin to make-believe, and for a time just stare at the white vista. Taking that first step is both a blessing and a curse. Perhaps it could, in fact, go as badly wrong as last year. Have I really learnt anything after all? Maybe it's better just to stay here, at the start, and dream long, happy dreams. But time waits for no woman and so I take, tentatively at first, a small step followed by a more purposeful step in a slightly new, slightly different direction, a personal mantra lightening my steps as they crunch through the untainted snow: just believe. That's it for this year. Just believe.
All our paths are virgin paths, the journey never quite the same with each passing year.. And yet as a writer the path is well-trodden, other writers having trudged it countless times with their own troublesome, perhaps equal burdens. The important part is to start, to walk fearlessly and with faith, to know that if nothing else paths end somewhere. All paths. So just begin and just believe and in time you might just build something out of that snow, a crystal palace comprised of ice perhaps. Indeed, the snow could be just the beginning...
Albert Einstein once said, 'Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labour in freedom.' The idea of group creativity is almost an oxymoron. But perhaps it is unhelpful to separate the creativity of individual minds from the communities within which they flourish. People, after all, understand themselves not only as individuals but also as members of the groups to which they belong.