Here we are, the last day of February, and New York City finally got its first dose of snow this year. Sometimes things go in incredibly unexpected directions. As will, more than likely, these next several paragraphs.
First of all, it’s hard to imagine how last year at this time Russia made its move into Ukraine. The experts in this country believed the war would last no longer than three or four days. And, as is so often the case, the experts were wrong.
The following is a brief sample from the blog I wrote exactly one year ago today:
And the fight and will of the Ukraine people has been - dare I say it - amazing and inspiring. We here are free to imagine a life living in their shoes, but there’s no way to be confident in our ability to react the same way. Could this unjustly attacked country eventually defy all odds and turn Russia away? Is it possible we may at this moment be watching David actually topple Goliath?
The outcome is not over yet. But I feel more hopeful than ever.
Will Donald Trump ever be brought to justice for all the crimes he’s both committed and fomented? Justice takes so long, as we all are now painfully aware. But I believe this year will bring us some historically significant headlines. The ones where he is forced to accept the will of a judge and jury - and an enraged country - will be particularly welcome by those of us who still believe in the Rule of Law and the promise and ideals of Democracy.
LeBron James has been a polarizing figure for as long as he was first anointed “the Chosen One” all those years ago. But count me as a sports fan who continues to be one his most ardent supporters. Now that he’s become the all-time leading scorer in NBA history - he surpassed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar earlier this month! - I would hope even the most strident detractors can take a step back and appreciate true greatness as it flashes before our eyes. And all the side notes - his willingness to speak out on social issues, his devotion to his wife, children and hometown of Cleveland, his support of the great many people he has funded throughout their college careers - only make his story more uplifting and inspiring.
I love the way he fearlessly and consistently vocalizes his utter disdain for the aforementioned disgraced former President as well!
I’m going to take my first-ever voice lesson a few weeks from now. I was working a book-signing party at the Triad Theater which was hosted by this woman singer who has given lessons to a wide range of students, both famous and unknown. She was incredibly gracious to me for agreeing to keep the bar open for such a small event and she turned the second half of her presentation into a classroom for aspiring vocalists. Since several of them were by now gainfully-employed performers on Broadway, I turned aside my usual reservations and joined along. And then I reached out to her the next day with this proposition: I knew (from her class) of the long wait list for new students, but maybe there would be room in her schedule for me to cross Central Park for a session where I’d play piano and sing three of four original songs, whereby she might offer insights on ways to improve the consistency of my vocal performance. She shocked my by instantly replying that - for me! - she would find a way to make space in her crazy schedule. She also suggested this could lead to my own one-man show at the Triad Theater someday…
You never know…
Crazier unexpected things have been known to happen!
A friend of mine pointed out that this summer will be the 30th anniversary of our first-ever season on Martha’s Vineyard. And a day or two later, the head chef at one of the private places I’ve worked the last few summer months visited NYC with his wife, doing his best to entice another working commitment from me. And then, quite coincidentally, other friends from the Vineyard made a Big Apple appearance to say hello. I voiced aloud - maybe it was to the universe? - that if I did decide to go back, this time I would need to go down the hard road of purchasing a car. And then, voila - a post on Craigslist showed up, with a vehicle and price tag that I found surprisingly suitable.
I made a few inquiries…
I purchased the car last Friday.
Looks like there’s a GREAT chance I’ll be Vineyard-bound once again this coming June!
If voicing things aloud to the Universe can indeed be a self-actualizing practice, let’s see what else comes to mind…
I want Volodymyr Zelenskyy to go down in history as the heroic figure he already is. Joe Biden should be allowed to decide whether or not he wants to run again, and my timid Democrat friends should stop being so reluctant in proclaiming how he’s been doing such a great and admirable job. The New York Yankees, in the year they thankfully refused to lose the great Aaron Judge, should be World Series Champions yet again! I’m hoping to make it to what seems to be a pop-up High School reunion scheduled for late July at the waterfront in Burlington, Vermont. And damn - I hope this car I just purchased doesn’t turn out to be a lemon.
And for some reason, the Christmas Vacation movie was on last night. Was the accompanying unexpected snowstorm just a coincidence?…
I’m finding myself already yearning for another holiday season…
I’m not overwhelmingly optimistic on a daily basis, and I know there will be ups and downs in the year to come. And those unavoidably unexpected directions will play a role, without question.
Here’s hoping they serve to surprise - and delight! - us as never before.