A New Year

Friday, January 2, 2015

This morning as I washed the french press, waiting for the kettle to boil, I thought about how a new year is like that first, cold drink of water in the morning, or that moment when you know you love someone without obligation. Fresh and new, yes, but also sustaining.

I'll take sustaining over fresh starts every time because I want movement forward, into deeper understanding, broader perspectives, and, I hope, more wisdom. Whenever I hear of someone renewing their marriage vows or taking a second honeymoon or rededicating their life to Christ, trying to go back, to recreate a feeling, a tie, an emotional connection--anytime I see or hear of this I want to take these people by their shoulders and shake them and say, you are doomed. You cannot go back. I want to give them a glass of cold, life-sustaining water and say, there is only forward, toward unimaginable and unexpected things.

At times I wish someone would shake me by my shoulders and set me back on the path forward.


This last year brought new people into our family--two new babies, two new sisters-in-law. Each new life, each woman taking our last name as her own was somehow unexpected, unimaginable.

A new in-law brings this incredible life-bringing destruction. It's the severing of a circle, the tearing apart of a web--all of those threads between, among siblings--and then there is an addition, a welded-in section to the circle and a thousand new threads (and combinations of group texts) together with, apart from this new member of our family. Gradually the welded seams smooth out and the web is rebuilt, slowly, quickly--this is forward, toward unimaginable and unexpected things.

The new nephews, the two tiny lives that herald new branches on the tree somehow also herald an enlargement of heart. I thought I knew the boundaries of my heart, but somehow there is more, always more. At times it overwhelms me, this unfathomable thing of a heart growing two sizes, and I think I might burst.

Photo: Sunrise from my attic skylight, 2014.


  1. The three posts you've done this year so far, hit home with me. I'm a Taurus, through and through. I don't like change (well, not big, surprising change.) I've felt stuck for the longest time, too afraid to change but knowing deep down that I wasn't happy where I was at. I avoid any situation where someone might ask me "what I do." I never know how to answer it, at least not confidently or simply. Plus, since what I did/do doesn't fit into a neat little box, people are intrigued and what to know more. Which just further draws it out. When I'm actually working, doing what I do, I feel confident. But when I'm around "normal" people, I become very insecure by the standards that are around me (9-5, mortgage, 2.5 kids, etc.)

    This year terrifies me because I am going to move forward, whether I want to or not. I have to.

    Happy New Year, Anna! I do wish you a lot of joy in 2015, that you grow and move forward. And continue to share bits of your journey here. :)

    1. Liesl,

      This line, "I never know how to answer it, at least not confidently or simply" --- yes, yes, yes. It's so strange, the combination of confidence in one's own work, but then the depths of insecurity when confronted with "normal."

      Can't say how much it means that my words resonate with you. I'm looking forward to reading more about your world in the year ahead!


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