January 05, 2001

"Did you make any New Year's resolutions? Or are you going to do what I'm doing:
Using some of the resolutions I have just lying around but which are basically brand new.

Well, here we are, folks. 2001. We can all stop debating when the Second Millennium begins, or if the start of the Second Millennium means the end of the world. For all purposes, the millennium is well under way by now, and as far as I can tell, the world hasn't ended yet. In fact, it almost seems to be intent on proving its continued existence. The neighboring back yard has a cherry tree flowering wildly and our own plum tree has put on some rather extensive new growth. Having not actually spent a winter in San Francisco before, I can't say if the mild sunny weather is unseasonable or not. Is it wrong for the cherry tree to be blooming already? Who am I to argue with a tree who's been here longer than me?

I stopped inches short of resolving not to make resolutions for this year. It seems a bit strange to make some grand statement, "In this new year, I will..." when all the things I would have resolved to do have been things I've been working on in the last couple months. I would have had a head start on everyone. Hardly fair. But then most people probably made the same resolutions which get made every year: to quit smoking, to get more exercise, to spend more time with the kids. I just want to write more regularly.

Actually, that's a bit of an understatement. I want to do so much more than "just write." We celebrated New Year's part deux last night with some friends from out of town. Between mimosas and apologizing to me for what ever offensive things he might have done in my presence in the last couple years, one gentleman asked me what I was doing with myself in this city. After he'd told me how much he loved temporary work, ("Shows you how many idiots there are out there. You've got brains and talent; everyone must just love you. Because everyone else is an idiot. And you get to test out companies and find out most of them are full of idiots, too.") I explained that I am enjoying it because temporary employment gives me the chance to work on my other projects. I'm writing more now than I have in years. I've got these random thoughts and our travelogue which I am currently working on. I'm also drawing Celtic knot work, playing in Photoshop, dabbling in photography, designing and sewing a quilt, and experimenting in soup.

"I'm pretending to be an artist," I told him.

I've never admitted that aloud to anyone before, including myself. The notion has been batting around in the back of my head for some time now, slowly and quietly growing in secret. Me as an artist. It's a strange idea. But it is a strangely compelling one, and I am taking another look at it before tossing it out with the imminent spring cleaning. Something about it has caught my attention, and I find myself wondering if I keep up with the make-believe if I might not find some truth here. So, this year, in 2001, I resolve to keep pretending.

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