Growing up, my dad used to floss in our car while driving home from dinner. Over time, our windshield would become peppered with bits of steak and broccoli that looked like tiny neon bugs splattered across the glass.

I would watch him floss in the rear view mirror. He’d be at the wheel and I’d be in the backseat. Once, I remember his fingers being wrapped so tightly around the floss that they turned bright pink, plumping out around the string. I stared at his hands, then eyes in the mirror, and for a second our faces looked the very same.

That’s how I feel about the new year. There’s this strange mix of familiarity and tension, especially now–with the whole world flipping, flopping, and boiling down.

But more than that, I feel resolved about the tough and sweet year that’s passed. Went for coffee today with D and month by month we wrote out everything notable that happened in 2008. Things like friends losing parents and gaining children, where we were on election night, travels to Prague and Vashon, playing pool on my birthday.

Thinking about all the weather that will travel from west to east this year, starting close to Capitol Hill and hitting the places I’ve lived and the people I love across the plains, over the Smokies and to the Atlantic makes everything that’s to come, scary and tenuous as it may be, seem beautiful, messy, and really really close.

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