Tuesday, January 7, 2014

2014...A New Year...(how is that possible)...

2014 is here. Barely. How is it even possible? 2013 was just too fleeting for its own good. I should have accomplished more. Really. My first instinct is to place the blame on my job. It did act as a time siphon, but some things can only suck that much of the wind from ones productive sails if one allows it. My job is one of those things. An easy scapegoat for my lackluster list of accomplishments. *sigh* Oh well…onwards and upwards…yes?

As is evident, my New Year’s post is a tad late. Not intentionally, but better a few days late than never. 2013’s big finale was very low-key and mellow here on the marsh. I did have to work a few hours on the Eve, but got home before the day had completed its exit. Still caught ample time to go out for a stroll, and some picture taking. 

The grey matte tones of an overcast sky shrouded the “preevening” (to quote Dr. Sheldon Cooper). Chilled breezes blew through the sparse sprays of dying leaves on naked branches. I have grown to love the more bucolic nature that surrounds me now, as opposed to the noisy smog covered city I once inhabited. I’m usually one to let the flora and fauna be the bulk of my strolls soundtrack, but on New Year’s Eve I decided to put on my headphones, and listen to one of my favorite CDs. It fit that darkening and muted half of the day so well. It made me see my outside world in a different way. It also had me remembering a time from my past.

It was 1982 (or early 1983), and I was attending college. An anomaly on campus, I dressed outside of what was considered the norm by many in the small southern Georgia town of Statesboro. Mod, Punk…my look was an amalgamation of clothing eras. In other words I was a bit of an “individual”. It really wasn’t any wonder that I gravitated to the college radio station, which turned out to be where all of the ‘individualists’ collected.  In those days, it was known as the “progressive alternative”. No set musical style/era, we had no set format to confine us. My musical preferences have always been rather eclectic, so I fit right in. I already had an interest in many of the bands I played on the air when I began, but discovered a wealth of new bands via the record library. We also received new albums on a regular basis, and they would eventually find their way into the ‘New Box’ in the DJ booth. That’s where I found the album I popped into my CD player on New Year’s Eve, 2013.

“Script of the Bridge” is the first album by The Chameleons UK, an English band that became a favorite of mine from the first moment I placed “Script” on a turntable. Moody, ethereal, and lyrically inspired, every song from beginning to end struck a chord with me. Since it was the days of the ‘Walkman’, I made a cassette copy of the album that wore out in no time due to repeated play. I’ve always been a night owl, so night time strolls were something I enjoyed. One of my favorite things to do was to sit on a picnic table by the pond in front of the campus library, “Script of the Bridge” playing through my headphones. It was so escapist and lovely. So mentally and emotionally transportive. It was memories of the picnic table, the pond, and the incredible times I had in those days that came to me as I walked along snapping pictures.

The music also made me think of the day and what was about to happen. A year that had passed too quickly was giving way to a new one. A fresh year filled with blank pages ready to be written on. What would I write this time? Many people start there yearlong manuscript by compiling a ‘To Do’ list of resolutions, of which many will be nothing more than empty promises. I was once a resolution maker, but no more. For me, throwing out even one translates to a commitment…a source of pressure. I don’t believe in the premise of resolutions. If I’m going to make the effort to change something, to evolve, then I put forth the effort to make that change for me. For my life going forward. 

As I continued on my walk, a particular track started to play. One that I remembered was a favorite of a fellow college DJ of mine, Chuck. A popular track among Chameleons fans, the song is titled “Second Skin”. Although the lyrics have their own meaning to the bands lyricist, Mark Burgess (whom I'm glad to call friend), they spoke to me on the front edge of this New Year. It’s time to slough off and discard the old, so the new can be faced afresh. Nothing is certain. Dreams open up to the realm of possibility. Open up and spread your wings because everything and anything is possible. As it is often said, “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery”. Live in the moment, expect nothing, and welcome everything. Others may not glean the same things I do from the song, but interpretation is up to the individual at any given moment, in any given circumstance.

2013 is now history.

2014 unfolds before us…shrouded in mystery…

Here’s to the adventure…

(To listen to the video, scroll to the bottom of the page to pause the music player.)

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