Monday, December 31, 2007

That Time of Year

It's that time of year again and for once, I'm not going to mimble-wimble or fiddle-faddle my way through this post. Of course not, especially not since it's been such a decisive year, what with important dreams being put on hold yet again, taxing relationships and maddening work, and my finally making the break from an industry I intensely disliked. And I must admit, that the break is perhaps the best decision that I've made in the last three years.

You see, I love that I've got back in the groove of my life as I used to know it. Getting enough rest, reading, watching movies, writing... calling friends when I said I would. I've finally addressed the one great complaint of my life — Goa. I've consolidated some relationships and agonised and stepped away from others. I've drowned summery, buttery peace and wintery, slanting solitude. It all doesn't seem very different from any other year but in quietness, I've known that it is. Finally, I've known and accepted that this break cannot last much longer but I do not think that I will ever be able to be gainfully employed without needing to take a break for a few months, every few years.

I am back this morning from an enlightening (in far more ways than one) trip to Banglore, armed to face the New Year with a number of new books (yes, yes, I did it again — and my mother's ready to kill me again!) and enough movies to keep me busy till 2009. If only my break would last that long. But I will suffice to leave you with this utterly gorgeous poem and wish you a happy New Year, my dears. I do hope the year is as liberating and edifying as the last six months have been.

Year’s End

Now winter downs the dying of the year,
And night is all a settlement of snow;
From the soft street the rooms of houses show
A gathered light, a shapen atmosphere,
Like frozen-over lakes whose ice is thin
And still allows some stirring down within.

I’ve known the wind by water banks to shake
The late leaves down, which frozen where they fell
And held in ice as dancers in a spell
Fluttered all winter long into a lake;
Graved on the dark in gestures of descent,
They seemed their own most perfect monument.

There was perfection in the death of ferns
Which laid their fragile cheeks against the stone
A million years. Great mammoths overthrown
Composedly have made their long sojourns,
Like palaces of patience, in the gray
And changeless lands of ice. And at Pompeii

The little dog lay curled and did not rise
But slept the deeper as the ashes rose
And found the people incomplete, and froze
The random hands, the loose unready eyes
Of men expecting yet another sun
To do the shapely thing they had not done.

These sudden ends of time must give us pause.
We fray into the future, rarely wrought
Save in the tapestries of afterthought.
More time, more time. Barrages of applause
Come muffled from a buried radio.
The New-year bells are wrangling with the snow.

-- Richard Wilbur


Brood Mode said...

Happy New Year! May the year find you with enough time to read all those books and write all you want...

Plain Jane said...

Amen...and oh btw you were supposed to call back this eveg ;-) (Muhaha! Fun hua!)

Extempore said...

@Brood Mode: Wishing you a very happy new year as well! Thank you so much for your lovely wishes - I hope the year ahead is as wonderful for you. :-)

@Plain Jane: Brat! No need for the new year wish no? It's already started out well for you no, my dear? :-P

Parth said...

There are enough movies to keep me busy until retirement :-) Happy new year to you. Enjoy the reading. I am back and recovering.

Priyanka said...

Happy New Year! :)

Extempore said...

@Parth: Wish you the same too! :-)

@Priyanka: You too! Thanks for dropping by.