Walking Through The Magic Door
A guest post from Maria Ede-Weaving…
I have never been a great fan of New Year or the idea of setting oneself resolutions. New Year’s Eve in the past has often left me feeling quite maudlin; the sense of enforced fun and frivolity only serving to intensify a strange sense of unfulfilled longing and regret in me. I couldn’t even specify what those longings and regrets might be, only to say that this collective moment of passing through the threshold between one year and the next stirs some uncomfortable feelings. I love Auld Lang Syne – Burns’ words and the melody move me greatly – so, when the midnight chimes ring, I have generally been found with a tear or two in my eye, experiencing an aching incongruity between all that fevered celebration around me and my own inner sadness.
I must confess that this year the thought of crossing over that threshold is incredibly appealing. It has been a difficult year of moving through the grief of losing my father; struggling to release many other things that are no longer present in my life; my divorce finalising and – as a backdrop to all of this – finding myself menopausal. It has been a year of exhaustion and turmoil, both emotionally and physically, and so the thought of drawing some kind of psychological line in the sand has started to feel like something worth celebrating. I am not naive enough to think that all will be miraculously well when I wake up on January 1st but having found myself uncomfortably suspended in this liminal place of the threshold for so long, I have decided to approach this New Year’s Eve with a more welcoming and positive attitude.
Moments that mark the end of one thing and the beginning of another offer us the opportunity to hold within us both the sadness of letting go and the joy of embracing the new. If we let it, this can be a potent alchemical blend that leads to a gratitude for life’s experiences, both the testing and joyful; it can allow us to sift and sort the wisdom gained, shedding the outmoded ways of being in order that we might truly move forward in healthy and productive ways. The truth is, this rather arbitrary point on the calendar potentially allows us to partake in a powerful collective piece of magic: all that energetic celebrating culminating in a moment when we release what has been to welcome and make space for what will be. It may be that we have many opportunities to do this at any point in the year, but having a dedicated time when we all come together to ‘wave bye-bye and say hello’ enables us to honour our humanity and the common experiences we all share as we each wrestle with the changes.
We are creatures who move through time and our memories shape our perception of the hours and the days we have lived until now but we should never allow memories to become a prison or our personal or collective histories to calcify our ability to embrace change or feel hopeful for the future.
Tonight I am choosing to see the transition from the old year to the new as my chance to walk through a magic door, one that will take me to places and experiences yet to be known. I have with me a life-time of wisdom gained and I am shining a more positive light on my memories so that rather than them being a weighty burden that I carry, they are instead a comfort and a guide.
When the clocks strike midnight, remember this moment of transition is two-fold: it is both the sigh of a wistful out-breath, a nod of thanks to the past, followed by the hopeful intake of air that will fuel our first step into a new life. We are crossing that magic portal and anything can happen! Let’s walk through together…Happy New Year!! /|\
Sorry to hear of your challenging year in 2014. Best, Kevin
Thank you, Maria. Your first paragraph nicely spoke to the one-sided conversation I had with myself just an hour ago. It had been my intention to spend this evening celebrating with others as I have in the past. However, the nasty side of a cold that I do not want to share will see me spending time with my cat companions instead. But. It left me feeling disconnected. And I wondered why. This is, after all, only a day that humans mark on a calendar that has nothing to do with the reality of time. Nothing will be any different tomorrow than it was yesterday or will be with the next sunrise. It is as you say, though. It is the collective celebration, of letting go and of creating space. It is the collective potential for a future, billions of people coming together with an unconscious desire for better, in a moment of hope for all things unexpressed. For me ‘collective’ is the key word. At Solstice I said goodbye and hello. I made peace with the events of this past year and opened myself to receive the abundance, opportunity and growth that will come with the strengthening sun. That ritual, that celebration, that intense awareness of myself and Universe will bring to me more than a striking clock could. Yet … missing the collective goodwill and hope shared at midnight is already felt. Many blessings to all here. Thank you Philip. Happy New Year.
Thanks to both of you for all the inspirational posts this year. Best wishes to all for the new year!
Thank you Maria, and Tracey – both well said. As I have aged (recently turned 60) I have said many hellos and goodbyes and this year in particular has seen a shift in my thinking. I am less inclined to follow the Gregorian Calendar yet acknowledge it marks significant events that allow opportunities for communities to gather and celebrate collectively. That is always a good thing as long as the focus and intent for the celebration are the same. For me this is where it falls out of balance.
In New Zealand we have the “Official” New Year and the Maori New Year (Matariki) which falls in late May or early June, depending on the stars. I am more inclined to go with this latter celebration as being more significant to my turangawaewae – the place that I stand. The seasonal festivals are times of letting go and welcoming in, each relative to the season being celebrated – this too resonates deeply with me. These rituals allow us to have regular clearings/cleansing to maintain our balance through out the year rather than one large dump at the end. With warm blessings to all
My Dear, Your message is so true. Thanks for sharing it. I see the ‘NewYear’ as metaphorical…
Well said indeed. I am sure what you articulate so well, feels most appropriate to many of us. Best wishes for a joyous, stimulating new year.
Thank You for sharing Maria. Love an Blessings, Jo x
I must admit I long ago stopped going out on NYE. I find the frenetic need of so many to be having mega-fun on that night rather hard to handle. It all seems rather desperate and forced. Since my husband is of similar feelings, we don’t even wait for midnight these days, but go to bed at the usual time. I don’t think of myself as a NYE grinch. I just don’t bother with it, nor with new year’s resolutions either. I just keep going along with my baby steps to my goals year round. I know, I sound boring and ploddy. Maybe I am, but I’m ok with that. 🙂
Thank you very much for that Maria, and well said especially paragraph 4. I too have had an and the wisdom of your words has been digested and filed in the ever growing “continuation of life” section of the grey matter.
Above post should read I too have had an Annus extremely horroblis and the wisdom
“we should never allow memories to become a prison or our personal or collective histories to calcify our ability to embrace change or feel hopeful for the future.” Thank you for reminding me. I think this is what I have allowed to happen over recent years and I must wake up and snap out of it. It’s very hard, as you know, after suffering bereavement to allow oneself to move on. I have found a peculiar comfort in trapping myself in grief. Like if I hold on tightly to the misery, my loved ones will still be here. But by doing this I am shutting out the rest of life. Closing down to the joy that is there if I only I would allow myself to feel it. Please Great Spirit let today be a truly new start. Thank you for your eloquent post. Thank you reminding me I am not the only one who has dealt with loss and pain.
Thank you for expressing so eloquently my feelings toward New Year celebrations. Instead, I have found myself, over the past decade or so, creating my own ritual(s) for moving into the new year cycle. About 15 years ago, I graduated to using the old Celtic Wheel of the Year. My year now begins with Samhain and moves into the dark season, with Winter Solstice being my spiritual celebration, and Christmas my family and social time. I used the 12 days from Christmas to January 6 (old Christmas Day, in my traditional Catholic upbringing) to stop, ponder, release and move onward into the next year. For me it is a much, fuller, fulfilling and enheartening sequence; which allows me to move toward the new seasons of growth and renewal with a lightened step and soul. Blessings to you for this upcoming yearly cycle.
I feel exactly the same about NYE a feeling of longing and sadness. I stopped celebrating the date years ago and have now finally got over that feeling of missing out on the national festivity and fun. I have tried in the past to celebrate even to the extent of travelling abroad to celebrate but I am still letding its new year and t with sadaness and watching Jools Hollannd preteno be jolly.
Remarkable. I have been enamored of the idea of decorating eggs for some time. I raise turkeys and blow the eggs when I’m done using them for food. As an artist, I’m interested in the shells as a field or surface, I decided about a week ago to use them as thresholds or doorways and design my penned images using that as a primary theme. And now I find this website.
Marvelous and magical.
Oh, I do not drink so do not ‘celebrate’ the New Year by going blotto. I prefer consciousness and love the idea of a ritualized re-setting of intention. I do this on New Year’s and on my birthday, but am embracing the idea of doing it on all the sabbats too.
Life is too short to not be aware.
Hi Phillip, I just launched my new blog with a post about a Wassail Ceremony we held to celebrate New Year’s Day. I have included a link to your blog on my blog links list. All the best for the coming year, blessings Anne Patterson. http://wwootw.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/new-years-day-wassail-blessing-on-land.html
I wish you great joy in this coming year; and, that you will greet it with an open heart and a sense of all that is complete.
Thank you, from afar, for all the things you do to make our lives all the richer.
St. Louis, MO USA
Thank you so much Kat. Happy New Year to you! Philip
Hi Maria and Phillip,
I gasped when I saw this as it deeply resonates with me and a piece of work I did last year “Talking Door’, (the final piece print mounted on a piece of alluminum 48″ x 36”)…
A slightly different slant but all intrinsically entwined.
My artist’s statement may interest you too..