The Calendar Changes by Joanie Fritz Zosike

Allegory of Life & Death, Hoefnagel

Jacob Hoefnagel, Allegory of Life and Death

Posted at 9:20pm, New York City. 

I don’t want to say goodbye to 2012, even though 2012 wasn’t that kind to me. I lost friends in 2012. Revered mentors and comrades such as George Birimisa. Cherished friends and colleagues like steven ben israel. Friends without whom I thought I could never live in this world, like Tom Stanley, lifetime beloved of my heart, even though we were only together for eight months, and that, over 30 years ago. Many hard and painful goodbyes, but every day we keep taking steps forward, again and again

Because we must, and because we want to. Patience, and all wounds heal. Tolerance and things will all come together. But there are issues in this life that have come to bore me immensely, and so I am at this moment sequestered in my friend Susan’s room while the conversation between her, Pina and Daniel continues.

There are conversations I hate to have, like ones where detailed points are argued. I am not a debater. Like conflicts involving what a good friend I am, a terribly painful argument that I’ve had on many occasions with a couple of tremendously close and beloved friends. Questions of whether I love someone as much as they love me, because I manifest my love differently. Judgments about whether or not not I have “succeeded,” whatever that means. That’s the ultimate parental question. So to say, if the line in the sand is drawn according to financial success, then yes, I’ve failed miserably and I admit it proudly. If begrudgingly.

Nonetheless, I’m not discontent with myself. As far as I’m concerned, and even knowing I have a long way to go, I AM a success. I’ve succeeded in being a good human being, even if I’m not the best human being. And who’s going to evaluate the best human being? The Miss Universe contest? Must I learn to twirl a baton?

January 10th I will return to L.A. for the long haul, to stay with my Mom and Dad for as long as he lives. And then to be with and support my Mom emotionally for as long as she lives. My father is adorable and wonderful but he is declining, and that’s how it is. I am learning to be equal with this, though there’s never been anything more painful. I’ve spoken on this issue enough to bore myself, and I don’t need to continue dwelling on it here.

But leaving my life here, my independent New York life…well, that’s a different question. How can I keep my selfhood alive in L.A.? How can I even keep my selfhood alive in NY, since there are lots of care taking issues here, too? How do I save a piece of this life for me?

I guess the biggest change this year, the one I’ve learned through loss and gain, triumph and failure, under-estimation and over-estimation, has been: I am ready to give up my selfhood and my stubbornness and see what fills up the empty swimming pool. Speaking strictly Southern California. When I need to, I will take myself away from an undesirable situation. When I want to, I will change rooms to avoid conflict or boredom. When I have to, I’ll let tears flow even if inappropriate. When I decide to, I will do whatever I please without regard to recrimination or my own self-administered guilt. I will not shrink from guilt-laden accusations because I can no longer accept them. My self-value is determined by me. If I keep my nose clean and principled, at least as clean and principled as my brother Bobby always has done, then I can define my own terms.

This is the beginning of my helping to change my world, the world, the cosmos. It all works together like a great big clockwork. And hence, may we all be Clockwise wise, and use our lives wisely even as the clock continues to tick beyond us.

Thank you, Sylkechen and colleagues, other bloggers, and the readers who have taken the time to take this trip. Happy 2013, every one!

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