Farewell to 2021…

A last minute post as we say good-bye to 2021, a strange year in which we kept hoping that the COVID-19 pandemic would get in control and yet… and yet… and yet…

Well, if you haven’t already done all of this: get vaccinated (plus booster!), wear a face covering, maintain something that looks like physical distancing, and wash hands, and keep hoping that things will get better.

I’m certain that the Omicron variant of COVID-19 is the worst Transformer. I know that it’s a Greek letter, but it still sounds like a Transformer to me and now you know that I spent part of my 1980s watching a certain cartoon series…

A proper 2021 year in review may have to be done at another time. But, hey, Team Triscribe won the best screenwriting award for this year’s 72 Hour Shootout Film contest! That was some good news!

I did do National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) this year, but it was a hard slog, with me banging out a lot of crappy writing on the last day. Lesson: do NOT wait until the last day of NaNoWriMo to get through the last 7,000 to 10,000 words. It was sorely painful!

I remain someone who isn’t into watching Year in Review stuff around Christmas because one never knows what stuff happens at the end of the year.

But, the days after Christmas gave us the sad news of the passing of Desmond Tutu, Archbishop emeritus of South Africa; former US Senator Harry Reid of Nevada (former Democratic Party leader in the Senate); and former NFL commentator John Madden. Such news bummed me out, let alone the usual bad news of COVID-19, environmental crises, and so on.

And, then on New Year’s Eve 2021: the passing of Betty White – which just sad because we were all looking forward to seeing her 100th birthday celebration in January 2022.

I’m hoping to get to a post to review my Book Reading List of 2021, since I did read more in 2021 than in 2020. We shall see. But, best wishes to all for a happy and healthy New Year for 2022!

Taking a Moment to Pause and Reflect 2021

Try to remember the kind of September

When life was slow and oh, so mellow.

Try to remember the kind of September

When grass was green and grain was yellow.

-“Try to Remember,” from The Fantasticks.

I have been in a mood this whole week, realizing that the 20th anniversary of September 11, 2001, was upon us. It feels surreal that it has been 20 years.

20 years ago, I was trying to figure out how to make any use of my last year in law school, and then that Tuesday happened. I didn’t imagine the entirely different landscape that we’ve had since. I never imagined that all the crises and calamities we’d be through.

20 years ago: I didn’t think that we’d be in a pandemic. I didn’t think that the progress of, say, 15 years of rebuilding downtown Manhattan would be reduced to misery by the pandemic. I didn’t think that Afghanistan would be such a regression, leaving much to be desired about our moral values as a country, let alone what moral values were in Afghanistan.

20 years of what, as far as we went forward and as far as we have not done enough, I’d say.

It’s a Saturday and we’re in the 2nd year of a 9/11 anniversary during a pandemic. I woke up to watch the moment of silence on television for 10:28am, when the 2nd tower of the World Trade Center fell. I let out my own moment of wondering and feeling despair.

I managed to get out to the Brooklyn Promenade after all, earlier this evening, awhile before sunset. There was a prayer circle of a family and people just walking their dogs. It was peaceful. I didn’t stay long, but it was nice.

I do wish all a peaceful and thoughtful day.

This NPR piece, “How To Talk About 9/11 With A New Generation Of Kids,” Sept. 9, 2021, was worthwhile. The experts explained about being clear with kids about what happened, accepting the discomfort, and being able to share your own feelings. And, I liked how the piece closed: “And the answers — that it is possible but hard and that we have to help each other — are as relevant today as ever.”

Dan Barry’s piece over at the NY Times, as part of 20th anniversary observations, raises “What Does It Mean To ‘Never Forget’?” Barry notes:

What, exactly, do you remember? What stories do you tell when a casual conversation morphs into a therapy session? What stories do you keep to yourself? And what instantly transports you back to that deceptively sunny Tuesday morning? [….]

“When I hear ‘Never Forget’ for 9/11, my next question is: ‘Never forget what?’ said Charles B. Stone, an associate professor of psychology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. [….] “Probably the closest answer is: Never forget that it occurred,” Dr. Stone said. “But it’s the little details that will be forgotten.”

Dan Barry (see the above link).

Barry’s piece is worth a read, because I do wonder what we’re asked to do when we’re told to not forget. Memory is a tricky thing. We’re only human; perhaps that’s the most important to remember – never forget you’re only human.

Photo I had taken some years ago, at the Brooklyn Promenade.

See here for last year’s post, for more photos or observations.

Since I’m the one who brings up The Fantasticks’ lyric about September, I’ll note that FC shared this over on Facebook, so I’m passing it along: “Wake Me Up When September Ends” – Green Day (Cover by First to Eleven). As FC said: “Today’s soundtrack – ‘twenty years have gone so fast.'”

Take a moment to pause and reflect, and thanks for being here. — ssw15