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Monday, January 4, 2010

That’s a Wrap – A Three Part Series

Some people love new years. Some people don’t. I’m generally apathetic towards it. I think my apathy stems from a lack of understanding of the “holiday”. New Years used to be the anniversary of B1 and I so that seemed like a more legit reason to celebrate. But simply because the earth orbits around the earth for some arbitrary 365 days, ehhh, not so much a big deal. So, I’ve always wondered why the ending of a year necessitates a celebration.

But it does, so with that, the institution that is New Years encouraged me to make plans. So on the last day of 2009, I made a conscious effort to eat well, spend time with friends, and ruminate on the last year.

In this three part series I will break down the night’s festivities. Get excited.

Stage 1 – The Last Supper

For our last dinner of 2009, we gorged ourselves at Café Flora. I opted for the black bean burger with a wild green salad and a bucket of yam fries. That’s right, a bucket. Save your jealous judgment. MD ordered my personal favorite, the root vegetable ravioli with a puree and toasted pecans. LS made the best call of all with a curried butternut squash peanut soup which I could have eaten by the gallon. LS’s brother opted for the Tacos. We capped it all off with the vegan carrot cake. Gorged and satisfied it was the perfect last meal of 2009. Not much else to add except that I resolved to visit Café Flora many times in the coming year.

Stage 2 – The Labyrinth

From dinner we headed to St. Mark’s cathedral to walk the Labyrinth. MD had told me about this but I really didn’t know what to expect.

I really am struggling to articulate the experience so here is an excerpt from the handout:

“The labyrinth is an ancient tool for contemplation and prayer. Found in spiritual traditions worldwide, the form that has become most popular in recent decades is modeled on the eleven-circuit labyrinth built into the floor of Chartres Cathedral early in the thirteen century.

“The labyrinth is not a maze. There is one path in to the center, and the same path out. Walking that physical path through the winding circuits make tangible our spiritual and psychological pilgrimage in three stages: the journey in, the arrival and the return. These stages are often compared to the traditional three stages described in mystical literature: Purgation, Illumination and Union.

“The labyrinth is both an individual and a communal process. Like prayer and meditation it can be done alone, but for many its true significance is felt when walking with others, whether strangers or friends. Everyone walking follows their own unique way, and yet everyone is literally on the same path, going to the same center. On the labyrinth this idea is no longer an abstraction but a lived reality.”

I removed my shoes, walked to one of the pews and kneeled in quiet prayer. I prayed about the future and the strength to let go of the past. When I started to walk the labyrinth I really didn’t think about much but was more trying to be in the present. This is something I am working on to do more of. As I walked, it was interesting to see how that action so paralleled much of the pattern of life. You pass people, some step aside so you can pass. Sometimes you step aside so they can pass. Sometimes you past the same people. Sometimes you pass people you know, they stop to give you a hug and you keep walking. Some people you stand at the center and then they leave before you get to know them and sometimes you leave before they get to know you. Sometimes you walked the path alone, sometimes you walked with people all jammed up in your business. Every step I took, I thought about different people who fit in all of these situations.

After walking the labyrinth, I felt contemplative and calm. I walked back to the pew where I started again and started to read the Common Prayer book. While thumbing through I found the following prayer written by St. Francis of Assisi that resonated with my heart. He says this:

Lord make us instruments of your peace. Where there is hatred let us sow love; where there is doubt, faith; where there is discord, union; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy. Grant that we may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood and understand, to be loved so to love. For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born eternal life. Amen.

The whole experience was powerfully moving. I think this will be a NYE tradition and I would highly recommend it to anyone.

Part 3 – That’s a Wrap

While I was suppose to be up north at a party, poor scheduling, delays and traffic made that plan impractical. So I headed over to hang with the ladies and a little dance party action. To wrap up 2009, we busted moves, watched the fireworks and curled up to watch one of the greatest movies of all time. A sing a long may have been involved. And of course, we took a few minutes to capture the beginning of our new year.

Always keeping it cool.

Always keeping it crazy.

But above all, always keeping it classy.

I’ve decided the trick to enjoying New Year’s Eve is no different than trying to enjoy any other day. Eat well. Be around people you like. Sing at the top of your lungs. Laugh as much as you can.

Hello, 2010. It’s going to be a good year. I can feel it.


stephanielynn said...

Classy for sure.

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