Monday, December 29, 2008

The Year In Retreat, With Words Disappearing

'Retreat' is not the word I need there but it will have to do as I'm having a dyslexic day. I have never liked those retrospectives that we write at the end of the old year but neither have I ever cared enough to worry out the reason for my mild dislike.

The awful events in Gaza showed the reason far too clearly: Time never takes a break for us to sit back and to evaluate the last year or so, and no particular date is in any sense the proper time to stop. Neither have we enough distance from the events, oh say, last November, to suddenly see clearly. The old year is not a decrepit old guy with a long white beard, just as the new year is not a newborn baby boy (I never noticed the gender of those two before, either!). Time is a continuum and the sins and virtues of the past have already stained the next year. The pedals of that enormous bicycle of Time keep moving even when we lift our legs off them for a short 'Remember when?' break.

Does that seem too strong a loathing that I express there for something unimportant and even vaguely useful? But then you haven't tried to compose a 'Year in a Feminist Rearview Mirror' post for the last seven days or so. Doing that makes a goddess have acid indigestion, even when she hasn't managed to gobble up one fat demon since summer.

I much prefer to look forwards, like one of those carved goddesses parting the waves for old-time ships, with my paint slowly crackling but the mysterious smile growing ever wider (now tell me what those things are called, dammit). (Where DO words go when you can't remember them and why do I remember 'keulakuva' and not whatever bloody thing it is in English?)

So, let us look forwards, into the gray and stormy seas while the salt spray stings our divine eyelids. What do we see that might be optimistic or at least hope-filled? A lighthouse beaming across the emptiness? Someone bringing us a dictionary of seafaring terms? A new Grand Feminist Awakening?

That's it! I truly smell it in the air. Estrogen rising. What do you think?