From the Editor



Another Wish for a Happy New Year

I ushered the New Year in by hauling several plastic containers of collectible ephemera into the library, with the goal of bringing order back to my disheveled life, in the new house.

As I started to go through the first container, I ran across a slew of old photographs which were of such poor quality that they never made it into a scrapbook or photo album; but of such obvious importance that they were never thrown away – they were scanned and many shared with those poor souls on facebook.  I also found documents of historical significance which caused me to be thankful I have not yet alphabetized my library.  I can now scoot over books on the 1960’s and make room for the newspapers which cover the moon landing and the loss of the Challenger and Columbia.  As I continued creating stacks around the room, a file of letters, from Peter, spilled over on the desk.


rose - Copy


There were a few cards in the file, but mostly long, hand written letters, like we used to do in the old days.  I so miss those lovely letters people used to write.  But it was this post card, which caught my attention.  A beautiful red rose, but almost innocuous – until I turned it over and read his note, which most certainly made me forget the task at hand, and instead ponder his perfect words:


backofrose - Copy


Oh my, how incredibly beautiful, poetic, and romantic in its purest form, I thought.  I sat down, at my desk, and reread the card several times.  I noticed it was from France, how appropriate, we had met in Paris.  I then wondered how I had felt when he had first given me the card?  Did I fully appreciate his gesture?  I am sure I did not.

Perhaps because it is the New Year, when we simultaneously stop to reflect on the past and prepare for the future, or perhaps because his words warmed my soul in a manner I had not anticipated needing, or perhaps because such words cannot help but make one wonder what might have been, I released myself from the task of sorting and scanning and instead remembered Peter as I had not in years, and it was delightful.

Thoughts of Peter carried me down other roads, recalling the people who imprinted my life briefly but deeply, the turns taken along the way, and the choices made, both good and bad.  I wondered if my choices might have been different if I had had more information or a different perspective or other dreams; I also wondered if I was simply entertaining silly thoughts because it is the New Year, the skies are dark, the ground was covered with snow, and I feel rather trapped in this frozen castle?  Maybe, but I am nonetheless not willing to let the thoughts go without at least picking up a few other pages with Peter’s writing.

The past is behind us, and there is nothing we can do about what was, again both good and bad; but the New Year marks a moment of hope for the future.

When we say that we should learn from our past, we are generally referring to the mistakes from our past; like letting a stranger strike up a conversation with me, at the airport, in Tel Aviv, and foolishly agreeing to a ride into Jerusalem with him.  However, it might also be nice to remember to learn from the joys of our past . . . like letting another stranger strike up a conversation with you, as you stand in line, to use the phone, at a train station in Paris.  If I had to endure the stranger in Tel Aviv, in order that tonight I might be able to enjoy this perfect red rose, then so be it.

It is better to live in the moment, with all of its risk and joys, than to safely hide out, while life passes you by.   I resolve to live more fully in the New Year, join me!  That is all for now.

By the way Peter, if you are somehow out there, and read these words – write me! 

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