A snowball’s chance is still a chance at least

The other day, the year began – anew! –  and everything old and constraining dropped off with the falling Times Square Ball, leaving us feeling unshackled by history for at least a moment while we decided whether to chain ourselves to the past once more, or go on with something fresh and unspoiled.

We tell ourselves this, and resolve to do this and that, but rarely ever do turn over a new leaf when we turn the calendar’s page, or take if off the wall.

It snowed last ’round Christmas, long ago it seems, and since then there have been days brisk but also hot and beaming with sun.

Yet still there’s snow out! Or ice, rather, from when the snow hugged against itself tight and promised to endure against a snowball’s chance in West Texas. There isn’t much, but it’s still there – proof you can’t get rid of last year so easy, proof nature and time and causal relationships aren’t subject to the whims of our minds’ attempt to organize delineations in our trips about our axis or around the sun.

Things tend to revert to their former state; forces prevail upon us and blow us in their direction unless we work constantly otherwise. Call this “habit.” Call it “wont”; call it “rut.” The snow is stubborn but by week’s end it’ll be gone entirely everywhere, because that’s how things happen here.

There’s no reason to wait until the beginning of the year to change things, except that it’s harder to say, “Next year,” than, “Tomorrow.” How often does that really matter, though? Time spills continuously over days and months and seasons. People are and do and keep on, but rarely really pivot.

But snow can hang on for nine days in the desert, if it tries very very hard. If it doesn’t last forever, at least it can last a while, which is good enough.

Our resolutions for the new year, that we pretend is different and unblemished, have a snowball’s chance of success when they run contrary to everything we’ve done so far and really want to do, rather than would like to want to do.

But hey, sometimes it’s worth it to try and endure as long as you can before all your resolves melt away.

It’s the thought that counts, and sometimes the memory

The other day, it was nearly the anniversary of the birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and while it isn’t that day yet for me, for those reading this column now, it is.

By the magic of anticipation and literary telepathy, I suppose I’m getting a little Christmas experience now, as I write. At least I hope that’s what that burning sensation is.

So Happy Holidays, and you’re welcome for your present. I think 2011 is supposed to be the white Christmas of which we (and Bing Crosby) dreamt; I hope this gift came wrapped for it. Otherwise the wet snow is probably making my words runtogetheronthepage.

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