The day after Christmas, I used to go to the Calendar Club to buy two calendars at half price. Before that, I didn’t even think much about a calendar. Now my calendars are like changeable art on the wall. This year I carefully picked them out - before Christmas. They are much different than last year’s two: pale Chinese scenes and chaotic mandalas made from flower petals - that’s where I was last year.

This year I looked for what appealed to me from the much larger selection. They must have so many of one kind of calendar and when it’s gone they bring out a different one. I bought my calendars at different times and discovered I’d gotten two different calendars, from the same company, Brush Dance. They are simple and bright. The one in my office is a green water color with some black calligraphy-like symbols, called New Beginnings.

The one in my bedroom (it wasn’t available when I bought the one for my office) is a picture of an orchid, also with a green background. It has a quote for each month. January’s, from Diane Ackerman, is: “I don’t want to come to the end of my life and find that I have just lived the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well.” I would add I want to have lived the depth of it as well.

The riches of my life have come from the depths, the deep well inside me. The depths of despair have allowed (is that the word I want) me to let go of sacred cows. Maybe forced is a better word. I have found the place where sadness and joy are just a moment apart and I couldn’t really tell which was which.

Is it depth than or is it a circle, no a ball or a globe. Emotions are very hard to describe; I feel them and sense them. I experience them; they are life. In my 30s, I thought that therapy would teach me how to control my emotions or make them go away. Was I ever wrong and fortunately so. Emotions are the seasonings of life, the texture, the music and drama.

I woke last night at 12:35 am, 2006. When I saw the time (I’d gone to bed at 10 as usual) I immediately thought, whew 2005 is gone, it’s 2006 and went to change my calendars. I took the old ones down, revealing the new ones underneath.

I was surprised by my response to the new year. I’ve been a little apprehensive because I’m going to be 60 in May. Ah yes, the old both/and thing. I will be a whole bunch of feelings, I don’t have to do either/or any more. I get it all, highs and lows, the whole globe of feelings.

Last night I finished, Bernie Glassman’s book, “Bearing Witness.” The book was very powerful (what does that mean?) The book has given me many new perspectives, validations, and a welcoming into a different world than I’ve experienced. I’m bearing witness to this year of my life. And that will make a huge difference.

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