I generally do not make a big deal over New Year’s Eve. The change of the year is an arbitrary human construct to me most of the time, and I can’t remember the last time I stayed up until midnight with the kids.
But last night I stayed up until 4 am.
I have never been so glad to see a year end. It was an amazing, traumatic, crazy spin around the sun, both in the wide world and my own little circle, catastrophe followed by calamity followed by strife.
At the same time it was the year when I got stripped down to bare bones and first principles, a time of great realization and clarity, even if it was the clarity of unknowing. And shot through with glory and beauty and wonder.
And it ended with a very strange Christmas.
But I will accept the artificial construct of the ‘New’ Year for a chance to begin again here and now.
Happy New Year.
While his apologists are right and other popes have said things very much like what Francis says about capitalism and injustice and inequality, those other popes generally spoke diplomatically. Francis is the first pope to speak like a Catholic radical. Even if his enemies triumph and Cardinal Burke is the next pope they cannot undo the miracle of Francis.
It was only a few years ago that it was laid off factory and mill workers who were suffering from the class war initiated by the ruling class.
Then the phenomenon appeared of people who worked hard at low wage jobs needing food stamps and Medicaid to make ends meet, if the ends did meet.
More recently people in traditionally decent jobs have found themselves in need, as wages stagnate and prices rise (gas will soar again when ISIS and Russia and Venezuela have crashed). I know of blue collar union workers, college professors and others who now receive assistance.
But it gets worse. An old friend whose husband once brought home six figures, who lives on acreage in a nice outer suburb, has, because of changed circumstances, joined the ‘takers’, as that evil woman Ayn Rand called the needy.
If we do not wake up it will not stop until all that is left is the billionaires and their millionaire servants, lording over the rest of us.