I’m ordinarily quite comfortable cascading my thoughts of a year gone by. Inking observations as random as cans of food in a soup kitchen. Indeed I’m customarily forthright with ponderings of penetrating and pathetic events, weird and wonderful moments. But for reasons unknown, this chilled December day I’m stymied and entirely void of fluent and fortified thoughts to splatter on this page.
Well documented are the high-ceilinged stories and the contentious issues that crammed the newsrooms and blogs. We became, quite frankly, over-saturated in instantaneous, inebriating injections of information.
2009 is a year defined by an economic predicament that touched nearly all people, along with their pets, purse strings, and possessions, in some manner. The iniquitous words- foreclosure, bankruptcy, down-sizing, quarterly losses, rising unemployment- these became our forged signature on a waning recession. Words that are now an echo still heard in the empty inaugural ballrooms. Our collective world remains manifested in the littered remains where the decay has been massive and the despair inescapable.
On the media stage, we formed opinions about a birth of eight to a single mom of six, watched a couple with a large litter take a rain check on appropriate behavior, and we lost a controversial and yet remarkable pop star who instantly changed both music and the magnitude of MTV with his iconic production, Thriller. Of course, media really found its ultimate chew toy with a billionaire golfer’s alleged sexcapades.
We said good bye to leading lights who we knew by single names… the likes of Walter and Teddy and Farrah and an actress I remember as Maude.
It was not a year of buoyancy. The dollar yo-yo’d, car companies required resuscitation, banks went belly up, and franchises folded. We dove into a fear of swine flu as well as into a vat of anti-bacterial hand gel, and we jumped aboard the fallacious political express train running routes between pomposity and hypocrisy.
But when looking close up there was, too, promise and optimism. We witnessed sacrifice from military families, altruistic hand-outs where there was a need, noble causes where there was injustice, and we discovered a hero in an unassuming pilot named Sully.
In a year of YouTube immersion, I was glad to stay clear of the trends that flashed and formed fanaticism in 2009- especially so-call sexting, hip and hyped Wii, the hauteur-inducing Bluetooth, insatiable ‘tweeting’ of random, dinner scrap thoughts, purse dogs, Tea Parties, and friending strangers on Facebook to create a false sense of importance.
There was a movement to go green and applause to vote black. And despite two divisive wars and unrest in Iran, I somehow managed to get up each day, eat my bran flakes, and write another entry in life’s chronicle.
Magnitudes of newsflash and nonsense occur daily. We crave every crumb. Hour by hour there is a barrage of global news, “caught on tape” titillation, personal triumphs and tragedies, and political palaver and posturing. The excess is evident. The significance minute.
Yet in this recessionary period, the humbling admission coming out of 2009 is that we are susceptible and pallid. Wounded, some may say. But far from defeated.
As we bid adieu to the year and a decade, our vision must pull away from the constant digital drone. We can slip further into cyber apathy, drawing ever-closer to an insipid and confounded existence, if we chose. Personally, I hope not.
I envision innovation and inspiration to lead reform. There is a turning point to be captured. The year ahead defies us to again dare and discover. Find our purpose and our pride. I believe one’s spirit is formed within driving ambition and unleashed imagination.
I hold a subtle optimism that we can reveal ourselves beyond social websites and cell phone snippets. A totally radical suggestion, I understand. But intentions are there to live a little less wired and a little more grounded. Genuine connections that exceed the maximum 140 characters.
If nothing else, put down the soy latte long enough to declutter your Inbox. Lest we all abbreviate less and LOL more!
My hope for 2010 is for people of every fashion and flavor to give their unequivocal attention to embracing truths, pursuing aspirations, and appreciating life’s charm, calamities and character.
Peace and Vitality to All.