Testament on the Last Day of 2020

It’s the last day of what everyone seems to agree
has been the worst year anyone can remember,
even worse than 1963 or 2001.

I’ve been scrolling through so many
Good Riddance, 2020 graphics on Facebook,
yet I remember how the new infant 2020 was welcomed
with open arms, even as a possible savior.
You never know what a babe will grow into.

I’m not a big fan of formal
beginnings or endings to anything.
Renewal, I find, usually takes place
when I’m not looking, not expecting,
though often—nearly always in fact—

So I pray for us that someday, and of course
I hope soon. Oh, how to say it?-
The split will be healed,
all splits will be healed,
especially the one that seems
to have cloven my country in two
until “two nations” each believe the other
to be mad, stupid, evil, or all three.

But frankly, who knows how low
we will need to go before we hit bottom?
I had a friend who drank heavily
and only rarely went to AA meetings.
We found him dead in his trailer one day
My other friend, an AA veteran, observed,
“His bottom was not in this lifetime.”
Meaning he’ll get through it,
but in some other incarnation.

Sometimes you have to get the big picture,
look at everything under the aspect of eternity,
as Jung would often say. Think of cosmic cycles,
think of what ancient Hindus called Kalpas,
which last 4.32 billion years and are still considered
only a blink of the Eye of God.

There is so much
that is so far
beyond my comprehension.

All I can do is try to have faith,
remembering things I’m grateful for,
continue repeating inwardly the Holy Name,
and take the next step forward

into a new day, year, lifetime—
and though I may not even know it
when the time comes—Kalpa.

written on December 31, 2020
painting is called "Into Light" (1997)