Well, it's the first day of a new year, and I have returned from parts east to my fortress of solitude here in Calgary. As I watched the ball fall in NYC last night, I got hit with the usual melancholy that you are supposed to feel when you hear Auld Lang Syne. I was thinking about how my last year had gone so well, when I realized that all my supposed successes were in the material world. Of course, watching TV news for the first time in months also reminded me what a lousy year 2005 was for so many people around the world, and here I was, happy about exam results. I need to work more on the immaterial in 2006. More self-denial and giving away of possessions and money.
I suppose that in 2005, I enjoyed some happinesses that had nothing to do with material wealth or status... and I did spend a good deal of the year in a dreamstate of inner peace and contentment, which I guess is also a good thing.
Well, on that note, Christmas presented me with a couple of good books as gifts. First was 'The Peoples of the Great North: Art and Civilisation of Siberia', and the second was 'The Narrow Road to the Deep North and Other Travel Sketches' by Matsuo Basho. Hmm, that wikipedia entry is grossly oversimplified.
Well, Basho is, of course, the guy who wrote:
Breaking the silence
Of an ancient pond,
A frog jumped into water --
A deep resonance.
As translated by Nobuyuki Yuasa. Anyways, here's why this book is so awesome:
Determined to fall
A weather-exposed skeleton
I cannot help the sore wind
Blowing through my heart.
You and me both, Basho!!! :)