Thursday, December 31, 2015

The Last Hours of New Year's Eve

(c) Lyn Fenwick
As the last hours of New Year's Eve 1870 drew to a close, Isaac B. Werner opened his journal.  In a reflective mood, Isaac wrote:  "Who may see the last of 1871, only 365 days but what changes may take place [in] that very short time to come?  How many warm beating pulse may rest motionless 'til then, and what Shakespeare may take his life in the meantime to shine some future day, an ornament to the period?"  

"Very nearly can I say that I enter the New Year--at least--without pressing debts, about $40.00 near at hand to liquidate, while I have also cash in pocket to meet same and maintain square, while that would leave me about square and strapped.  But how many would feel rich at that?"  

Although Isaac was satisfied with his financial situation, his usual longing remained, for he continued his New Year's Eve reflections by listing all the books "...I would like to buy now."  After completing the list, which included the prices (indicating he had been studying the sales catologues from which he typically ordered his books), he continued writing:

"There is nothing like patience to conquer [a] great many things & undertakings.  Whether I really increased the value of my real estate & chattles during this last year or not,  I confidently feel that I enriched my mind, satisfactory to my desire--beyond my any expectations--and in my eye that looks a fortune worth possessing.  'O learn thou young man.  God hath provided wisdom the reward of study.'"  

As 2015 draws to a close, like Isaac, I find myself reflecting on this past year.  I am saddened by the havoc of nature, of war, of hateful discourse, and of the natural sadness time brings as family and friends are lost.  I am heartened by all of the good things in my life, however.  My reflection did not cause me to open a journal but rather to sit down to my drawing board and take up my colored pencils to sketch how Father Time must feel about the burden he has carried in 2015 and how intimidated Baby New Year must be by his task for 2016.

Isaac did not include any New Year's Resolutions in his journal, but here is my challenge to all of you.  If you have made any resolutions, share them with me--in the comment section of this blog, at my e-mail address, or on my Lynda Beck Fenwick Author's page on face book in the comment section below the announcement of this week's blog.  If you meet my challenge, I will share some of your resolutions next week!

Here are my Resolutions for 2016:  1.  Eat and exercise sensibly to get over my holiday indulgences!  2.  Read more of the unread books I have acquired before buying too many more.  (Notice I left myself a little wiggle room about adding really special books to our library.)  3.  Find solitary, uninterrupted time to begin the planned revisions to my manuscript.  4.  Accept the sad and unpleasant things that will surely happen in 2016 with grace and try harder not to be so impatient with the unnecessarily unpleasant and stupid things I see, hear, and do during 2016.  

Here's wishing all of you a Happy New Year!


The Blog Fodder said...

You are a talented artist as well, I see. If only we all enjoyed Isaac's financial liquidity. We can all hope for a better New Year.

Lynda Beck Fenwick said...

Thank you. This was not my best work, but it did reflect my discouragement with all the events of 2015. I am currently reading Ben Bradley's memoir, which is a good reminder to give me perspective that it seems we humans can never seem to get it right and yet we survive. :-) Here's hoping for a better 2016!