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(from Brainstorms &

Artwise Poetry Roulette Cards)

There will come a time

when we look back on this day

and remember it as

the spark that ignited the flame,

the catalyst that set the ball in motion.

There will come a time

when we will look back on a picture

and remember the smiles without the tears,

the outcome without the angst.

There will come a time

when the swirling storm of turmoil

will be edited out of the frame,

leaving only the rainbow that we formed

from fragments of light.


Last week, a friend asked me if I had started my annual reflection process yet. She knows that every December I begin a deep dive practice of thinking back over the year. Usually, I start by scanning through the appointments in my calendar to see how and with whom I spent my time, looking through photos for reminders of moments of awe and delight, and skimming through journals and notebooks for insights on the angst and the inspiration.

Because I love finding patterns in the ordinary, I keep a large notepad by my side to jot down emerging themes. I search for threads of the story that's unfolding. If this year was a chapter of my life, what would its title be? What clues can I find about what lies ahead?

I told my friend that I hadn't started yet, but that I was eager to. "It's been a really unusual year for me," I said. "The word breakdown comes to mind." I was surprised by the word as it came out of my mouth. And, at the same time, it felt strikingly accurate. On a personal level, this year has been colored by a health condition that required me to restructure many aspects of my life. Perhaps more profoundly, I needed to confront parts of my identity that were defined by my relationship with my body. In the midst of my own healing, a loved one was diagnosed with cancer. I unexpectedly spent swaths of time in New York City to support them in their treatment journey. My time in the New York area also gave me the chance to connect with people and places I haven't visited with in years (or decades in some cases), a sort of timeline review of my teens and 20's.

As I begin the intentional practice of going through the artifacts of 2022, I'm discovering forgotten treasures, specific moments that I wouldn't otherwise have remembered, but that had enough of an impact to make me want to document them. I find myself giggling out loud at some of the memories and pausing periodically to acknowledge, "Oh, yeah, that happened this year!"

Life changes us—all the time and in many different ways. It seems this is a feature and not a flaw of the embodied human experience. And while life is lived in the present moment, through reflection we can better understand how each present moment fits into a larger narrative. Holistically, this theme of breakdown doesn't feel like crisis or catastrophe to me. Instead, it's been more like a decomposition in the natural cycle of being and becoming. Breaking apart creates space to notice the facets of myself, for layers that are outgrown to be shed, and for a new coherency to emerge.

I'm still in the thick of the process, which feels just right as the days descend into long nights. Perhaps you'll join me by reflecting on your year in your own way. What might you discover?

Wishing you many rainbows of insight and illumination,


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