Happy New Year!
Below “New Year’s Day”
“New Year’s Day is every man’s birthday.”
Remembering a Writer on the Date of His Birth: Born 1 January 1919 – J. D. Salinger,, an American author.
Some quotes from the work of J. D. Salinger:
“Among other things, you’ll find that you’re not the first person who was ever confused and frightened and even sickened by human behavior. You’re by no means alone on that score, you’ll be excited and stimulated to know. Many, many men have been just as troubled morally and spiritually as you are right now. Happily, some of them kept records of their troubles. You’ll learn from them—if you want to. Just as someday, if you have something to offer, someone will learn something from you. It’s a beautiful reciprocal arrangement. And it isn’t education. It’s history. It’s poetry.”
“The mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of the mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one.”
“When you’re dead, they really fix you up. I hope to hell when I do die somebody has sense enough to just dump me in the river or something. Anything except sticking me in a goddam cemetery. People coming and putting a bunch of flowers on your stomach on Sunday, and all that crap. Who wants flowers when you’re dead? Nobody.”
“The best thing, though, in that museum was that everything always stayed right where it was. Nobody’d move. You could go there a hundred thousand times, and that Eskimo would still be just finished catching those two fish, the birds would still be on their way south, the deers would still be drinking out of that water hole, with their pretty antlers and they’re pretty, skinny legs, and that squaw with the naked bosom would still be weaving that same blanket. Nobody’s be different. The only thing that would be different would be you. Not that you’d be so much older or anything. It wouldn’t be that, exactly. You’d just be different, that’s all. You’d have an overcoat this time. Or the kid that was your partner in line the last time had got scarlet fever and you’d have a new partner. Or you’d have a substitute taking the class, instead of Miss Aigletinger. Or you’d heard your mother and father having a terrific fight in the bathroom. Or you’d just passed by one of those puddles in the street with gasoline rainbows in them. I mean you’d be different in some way—I can’t explain what I mean. And even if I could, I’m not sure I’d feel like it.”
“Anyway, I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all. Thousands of little kids, and nobody’s around – nobody big, I mean – except me. And I’m standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff – I mean if they’re running and they don’t look where they’re going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That’s all I do all day. I’d just be the catcher in the rye and all. I know it’s crazy, but that’s the only thing I’d really like to be.”
Art for New Year’s Day – Part II of VIII: George H. Broughton
Below – “Party For New Year’s Day”
Musings on New Year’s Day: Alfred Tennyson
“Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.”
A Poem for New Year’s Day
“New Year’s Day”
by Kim Addonizio
The rain this morning falls
on the last of the snow
and will wash it away. I can smell
the grass again, and the torn leaves
being eased down into the mud.
The few loves I’ve been allowed
to keep are still sleeping
on the West Coast. Here in Virginia
I walk across the fields with only
a few young cows for company.
Big-boned and shy,
they are like girls I remember
from junior high, who never
spoke, who kept their heads
lowered and their arms crossed against
their new breasts. Those girls
are nearly forty now. Like me,
they must sometimes stand
at a window late at night, looking out
on a silent backyard, at one
rusting lawn chair and the sheer walls
of other people’s houses.
They must lie down some afternoons
and cry hard for whoever used
to make them happiest,
and wonder how their lives
have carried them
this far without ever once
explaining anything. I don’t know
why I’m walking out here
with my coat darkening
and my boots sinking in, coming up
with a mild sucking sound
I like to hear. I don’t care
where those girls are now.
Whatever they’ve made of it
they can have. Today I want
to resolve nothing.
I only want to walk
a little longer in the cold
blessing of the rain,
and lift my face to it.
Below – “New Year’s Day”
Some quotes from the work of E. M. Forster:
“I suggest that the only books that influence us are those for which we are ready, and which have gone a little further down our particular path than we have yet gone ourselves.”
“We cast a shadow on something wherever we stand, and it is no good moving from place to place to save things; because the shadow always follows. Choose a place where you won’t do harm – yes, choose a place where you won’t do very much harm, and stand in it for all you are worth, facing the sunshine.”
“When I think of what life is, and how seldom love is answered by love; it is one of the moments for which the world was made.”
“Life is easy to chronicle, but bewildering to practice.”
“Adventures do occur, but not punctually.”
“The main facts in human life are five: birth, food, sleep, love and death.”
“You confuse what’s important with what’s impressive.”
“Let yourself go. Pull out from the depths those thoughts that you do not understand, and spread them out in the sunlight and know the meaning of them.”
“We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”
Musings on New Year’s Day: Helen Hunt Jackson
“Only a night from old to new;
Only a sleep from night to morn.
The new is but the old come true;
Each sunrise sees a new year born.”
Art for New Year’s Day – Part IV of VIII: Theodore Wores
Below – “New Year’s Day in San Francisco’s Chinatown, 1881”
Worth a Thousand Words: Times Square early on New Year’s Day.
Musings on New Year’s Day: G.K. Chesterton
“The object of a New Year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul and a new nose; new feet, a new backbone, new ears, and new eyes. Unless a particular man made New Year resolutions, he would make no resolutions. Unless a man starts afresh about things, he will certainly do nothing effective.”
Art for New Year’s Day – Part V of VIII: And Henri Dargelas
Below – “New Year’s Day”
Musings on New Year’s Day: T.S. Eliot
“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
And next year’s words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning.”
Art for New Year’s Day – Part VI of VIII: Cornelius Krieghoff
Below – “The New Year’s Day Parade”
A Second Poem for New Year’s Day
A Haiku for New Year’s Day
by Kobayashi Issa
New Year’s Day–
everything is in blossom!
I feel about average.
Below – Muramatsu Shunpo: “Kobayashi Issa”
Musings on New Year’s Day: Sarah Ban Breathnach
“New Year’s Day. A fresh start. A new chapter in life waiting to be written. New questions to be asked, embraced, and loved. Answers to be discovered and then lived in this transformative year of delight and self-discovery. Today carve out a quiet interlude for yourself in which to dream, pen in hand. Only dreams give birth to change.”
Below – “New Year’s Morning”
“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re doing something.
So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.
Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.
Make your mistakes, next year and forever.”
Below – “Winter – Fifth Avenue”; “Georgia O’Keeffe” (1918); “Spring Showers”; “The Letter Box”; “Georgia O’Keefe” (1920); “Two Towers – New York.”
Remembering a Writer on the Date of His Birth: Born 1 January 1950 – James Richardson, an American poet.
by James Richardson
The week after you died, Mom,
you were in my checkout line,
little old lady who met my stare
with the fear, the yearning
of a mortal chosen by a god,
feeling herself change
painfully cell by cell
into a shadow, a laurel, you, a constellation.
“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.”
Art for New Year’s Day – Part VIII of VIII: Konstantin Somov
Below – “Old and New Year: Cover of the Calendar for 1905”