Thursday, January 7, 2010

A Worthy Goal

The final hours of a blustery decade were packing their bags to depart, no doubt grumbling over the poor visibility this night was providing, for an exaggerated fog had descended, to embroider the streets with swirls and swells of grey. It seemed somehow fitting that this decade of trouble should be forced to slip away in the mist, denied the grandstanding departure a clear, star-filled night would afford.

Just behind the glowing windows of our favourite neighborhood cafe, we four friends sat enjoying our final meal of the year, cozy, warm, talking, laughing, saying yes to dessert. Naturally, as round most tables on this night, the talk eventually arrived at thoughts of plans, dreams and resolutions for the baby new year right upon us. We thought at first it might be diverting to choose goals for one another. This was entertaining for a while, but when the conversation gathered up ideas of square-dancing and monster-truck rallies, we knew the plan was doomed.

Later as we walked through the fog, my friend, the painter, told me her chief goal for the year was to endeavour to find her “true voice” in her art, to discover and interpret the genuine essence of herself. As I considered this later that night, I thought, should not that be the goal of everyone, artist or writer ... butcher, baker, candlestick maker? To resolve never to have one’s sleeve tugged by what others may do, nor be ensnared by the trends of the day? To be, not a mimic nor an echo, but a clear crisp voice of authenticity in a murky world of performers, those frantic to do what the others do, to think what the others think, to look like the others look.

Each of us, I believe, has been bequeathed by the heavens our very own colour palette with which to paint the canvas of our life. How sad if we spend our time here on earth longing for the reds and browns used by someone else and never notice the magnificent blues and greens that are ours.


A most worthy goal for any year.