Posted by: Aunt Magaidh | January 1, 2012

2012 sounds nice and round, don’t you think?

It’s the first day of the new year.  2012.

Many of us – personally known and unknown – are so freaking grateful to see the backside of 2011.   It feels like the last year was the salt in the wounds that we  collectively acquired for the last couple of years.  2011 was the grinding of sand into the creases of your bathing suit.  2011 was the driver who cut you off on the freeway,  so that you veer and hit the brakes, and then smiles as he flips you the bird as he speeds away. 2011 was the sad night where you just felt like crying because you are so tired of hearing more bad news.  2011 was the pointy, sharp edged thing that was in your shoe while walking to the bus stop because your car was in the shop.

Looking back I find images of 2011 crammed into the corners of my brain…where I was trying not to dwell on them.

I think of the devastation of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami.  How we watched in horror at the totality of the destruction in such a vast area in mere minutes, of the immense loss of life and livelihoods.   I try to dumb down the fear and pain of the nuclear accident – and how people had to flee their ancestral homes, how workers went to the reactor to work in conditions that will probably steal years from their lives, how the rest of the “developed” world had to think what would happen if the same thing were to happen with their nuclear facilities.  And even those who tried to remain at a distance, had to deal with shortages of cars or technological gadgets because Japanese manufacturers were effected.

I think of the unrest that erupted throughout the world and the rising of people against their governments as they got fed up with being ignored and victimized.  It is easy to think that the world’s unrest takes place in third world countries or governments of dictators, but it really was worldwide.  Even here at home (a place where I am glad to be a citizen who has the opportunity to speak my displeasure and act on it, thank you very much), I felt ill at ease (yes, that is sarcasm) with the politicians and financial “leaders” who have totally lost touch the reality of me and my neighbors.  I think of the Occupy movement here in the US, where some people were motivated to take a stand and tell our leaders that we are pissed off, and then having the message trivialized by the media who grasped onto the anarchists, troublemakers who got violent, and the police who lost their neutrality and gave into fear,  and protesters who looked like holdouts from the 60s too unfocused to accomplish anything.  I still watch and hope that this unrest will become more widespread and gain support in a productive way, even as I remind my friends and neighbors and family that we have reasons to be dissatisfied with the message from elected leaders and financial institutions and media that everything needs to settle down and “normalize” again.  I wonder that I may be not unusual in this thinking.  I am astonished that I’ve become as angry and passionate about this unrest as I am.  I’m hoping that I’m not one of a few.

I think of the horrible and sad events and how there was some glimmer of brightness that emerged.

The death of Muammar Gadaffi and the rise of people who struggle to redefine themselves;  the death of teens who were bullied for being gay and the birth of The Trevor Project and the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell”; the outrage of a gunman in Norway who killed 80 and the lesbian couple who rescued 40 students while the violence was happening. ( ) ; the death of Steve Jobs who created technology that changed the way people communicated and the way that common people broadcast disturbing news on cell phones and youtube to show brutality occurring and not allow authorities to hush up the media (thinking of pepper spray in Davis, CA and women protestors in Cairo) and asking for help.  This has been a year when I’ve noticed the world getting smaller and people paying attention to each other just a little more.

2012.  It sounds nice and round, feels bright and shiny, and cool and soft.  It seems like …forgiveness to give the new year a chance to unfold and give us gifts of abundance, cheerfulness, positive thinking and positive action, and the ability to get a fresh start.

I have a couple of friends who constantly remind me that there is power in positive thinking and action.  I’m going to give it a try this year, with more sincerity than I’ve mustered in the past.  Goodness knows, the “same old, same old” hasn’t been working for us lately.  I think this may the single doable new year’s resolution that I can make work this year.

So, I’ll start off with a little positive thinking…following the tradition of our local radio station, KFOG, I share with you Eric Idle of Monty Python singing “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life”,

and Nanci Griffith singing “From a Distance”, with the songwriter Julie Gold,

and “The Revolution Starts Now”, by Steve Earle  (

and “Hey World”, by Michael Franti and Spearhead,

So let’s go out there and make this a spectacular year.

Aunt Magaidh



  1. My personal favorite; Louis Armstrong “What a wonderful world” Blessings on you and your house.

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