TCS: Hope Smiles from the Threshold of 2019

Good Morning!

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Welcome to The Coffee Shop, just for you early risers on Monday mornings.
This is an Open Thread forum, so if you have an off-topic opinion burning
a hole in your brainpan, feel free to add a comment.

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Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come,
whispering, ‘It will be happier.’

– Alfred, Lord Tennyson

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“And now let us believe in a long year that is given to us, new, untouched, full of things that have never been, full of work that has never been done, full of tasks, claims and demands; and let us see that we learn to take it without letting fall too much of what it is to bestow upon those who demand of it necessary, serious and great things.”

– from a letter by Rainer Maria Rilke to his wife Clara in January, 1907

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2018 has been a hard year, an unending winter. Watching the Republicans do their worst to dismantle the American Republic; seeing the effects of human indifference and denial to the climate changes which we have brought on ourselves and the rest of Earth’s inhabitants; and for me personally, the continual slow creep of aging, so far blessedly more in body than in mind.

The U.S. November elections began a thawing-out of hope, a bit of spring stirring and poking up in heart and spirit. The battle for our country is far from over, but our troops have rallied, and the counter-attack is well in motion.

So here’s to 2019. May it be marked down as a Year of Renewal, and a Turning of the Tide.

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Burning the Old Year

by Naomi Shihab Nye

Letters swallow themselves in seconds.
Notes friends tied to the doorknob,
transparent scarlet paper,
sizzle like moth wings,
marry the air.

So much of any year is flammable,
lists of vegetables, partial poems.
Orange swirling flame of days,
so little is a stone.

Where there was something and suddenly isn’t,
an absence shouts, celebrates, leaves a space.
I begin again with the smallest numbers.

Quick dance, shuffle of losses and leaves,
only the things I didn’t do
crackle after the blazing dies.


“Burning the Old Year” from Words Under the Words: Selected Poems, © 1995 by Naomi Shihab Nye — Far Corner Books

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To the New Year

by W.S. Merwin

With what stillness at last
you appear in the valley
your first sunlight reaching down
to touch the tips of a few
high leaves that do not stir
as though they had not noticed
and did not know you at all
then the voice of a dove calls
from far away in itself
to the hush of the morning

so this is the sound of you
here and now whether or not
anyone hears it this is
where we have come with our age
our knowledge such as it is
and our hopes such as they are
invisible before us
untouched and still possible


“To the New Year” from Present Company – © 2005 by W. S. Merwin –
Copper Canyon Press

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What are your hopes for the New Year?

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Visuals

  • Hogmanay in Scotland
  • Hard Frost by Vitiaco
  • Burning the old year
  • Evergreen branch
  • Unsplash by sebastian-davenport-handley

About wordcloud9

Nona Blyth Cloud has lived and worked in the Los Angeles area for the past 45 years, spending much of that time commuting on the 405 Freeway. After Hollywood failed to appreciate her genius for acting and directing, she began a second career managing non-profits, from which she has retired. Nona has now resumed writing whatever comes into her head, instead of reports and pleas for funding. She lives in a small house overrun by books with her wonderful husband and a bewildered Border Collie.
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