Happy New Year, everyone.
On New Year's Eve, I folded and hung up some cranes, as I usually do. I've taken to doing it every year to mitigate the post-Christmas let-down, when the house is stripped bare of the tree and the ornaments and, most significantly, the pre-Christmas anticipation, which should be bottled it's so potent. There's a sobering January austerity that settles in once Santa has come and gone.
So I hung up these cranes on New Year's Eve: For peace. For luck.
That night, in another part of Seattle, Brandon's pockets were thoroughly, nastily picked. Hello, 2012. Goodbye, phone. Goodbye, wallet.
A police officer kindly returned Brandon to me in the wee smalls. I was sitting in my living room, sick with worry. The cranes trembled almost imperceptibly above me.
At first, the theft seemed to be a final sacrifice demanded by the wrathful god of the dying year.
And then I thought, what luck indeed.
It is shocking to be reminded how close we are, all the time, to ruin. None of us knew how closely we approached it that night. Brandon might have been beaten or killed. Maybe this is what happens as we age: no longer protected from cause and effect, we're newly humble as we teeter atop the fence of life. We stop shooting for the moon. We're grateful to be inching, haltingly, forward.
The god wasn't wrathful, but merciful.
Our debt was cheaply paid.