Monday, December 31, 2007

hello goodbye

And ther's a hand, my trusty friend,
And gie's a hand o' thine;
We'll tak' a right good willie-waught,,
For auld lang syne.

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne.
We'll take a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.
Robert Burns (1759-1796) Scottish poet & lyricist

the last day of 2007. even though the end of the year snuck up on me, I'm proud that over the last week I've been somewhat successful getting my internal calendar to catch up with the external calendar. my journey to catch up has been aided by the various assorted holiday and end-of-year rituals and routines.

one of my end of year routines includes the reading of lists. as a person who enjoys lists - making them and reading them - I am currently in ocd nirvana at this time of year. there are lists every where. it seems as if everyone and their sister and nephew is making a list of the 10 best movies, 10 bests books, 10 best musical releases, 10 good things about 2007, and so on and so forth. the mere fact that there are so many end of the year lists, makes it safe to assume that I'm not alone in my love of lists. I wonder if list making and list loving is a 'culture bound syndrome'?

some list makers don't stop at the magical number ten. during december the new york times publishes its 100 notable books of the year. whether it is books or movies (or musical releases), I enjoy comparing my own faves to lists others have constructed and also mining the various lists in order to add titles to my 'must read' and 'must see' lists. I admit the exercise of adding things to my lists makes me feel a bit like sisyphus. among the 2007 books mined and added are new works by some of my favorite authors: barbara kingsolver's animal, vegetable, miracle, michael chadon's the yiddish policemen's union and annie dillard's the maytrees. ah, so many books, so little time.

my list of favorite movies seen in 2007 (in no particular order) include: 1) the lives of others 2) paris je t'aime 3) the garden of elah 4) into the wild 5) ratatoulli 6) forever (special note: I haven't seen this on anyone's list- forever is a wonderful life-affirming documentary about the pere lachaise cemetery) 7) enchanted 8) eastern promises 9) darjeeling limited and 10) babel. now mind you, in terms of movies that get released I barely make a dent in seeing what's out there. and after mining the various lists I come away with a 'must see' list that would keep me busy until the cows come home or at least until december 31st of the next millennium!

truth be told I have a few notebooks lying about where I've transcribed lists of movies spanning the last ten years (and I hate to admit I still have more titles than not that which are still unseen). new adds from released in 2007 added to my 'must see' list now includes: no country for old men (I read the book, now to see the movie); atonement (ditto on book/movie); perselolis (ditto on book/movie); once (how have I not seen this!!); 3:10 to yuma (e's favorite movie of 2007); there will be blood; I'm not there; the diving bell and the butterfly; 4 months, 3 weeks, 2 days; the savages; to name but a few! ah, so many films, so little time.

my personal quest to catch up with the calendar will be significantly aided this evening. for most years we've lived here in cleveland, we have gone over to our friends p & r's house for their annual new year's eve party. unlike many new year's eve parties, where the goal seems to be to get really hyped up and wasted; p & r's gathering is relaxing and filled with the comfort of friends and a sense of community. now that's not to say there's not plenty of eat, drink and making merry; in fact, there's plenty of eating, drinking and merry-making taking place. but we focus on making food together, playing games, and celebrating and reflecting on the end of one year and the promise of a new one. one activity I really enjoy is what r calls "burn your bummers" - as midnight approaches each person writes the 'bummers' they had during the past year, the piece of paper with the bummers is then tossed into the fire blazing in the fireplace. the goal of course is to start the new year fresh. to put some things of the past year firmly behind and carry on with a fresh perspective.

We twa hae sported i' the burn,
From morning sun till dine,
But seas between us braid hae roared
Sin' auld lang syne.

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne.
We'll take a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

picture: pere lachaise cemetery, paris 2007


mzjohansen said...

Blessings for a happy, healthy, peaceful New Year to you and yours.

Colette Amelia said...

purge the system by burning the bummers! great!

Since I am a lazy louch and not only that I would only forget where I put the list I am just going to do a blog.

Here is to much living, loving and laughing...and how about a little dancing to boot in the new year!

Anonymous said...

happy happy new new. xo

jenclair said...

More lovely lists!