So I took a look back at what I was rambling about last year around this time, and it was a lot of the same thing. Mostly complaining about the cold and hoping for spring, while simultaneously bemoaning my creative stagnation. How disappointingly predictable I’ve become. Last March I claimed that “never have I anticipated the end of the cold this much.” Hmmph…I believe I’ve topped that again this year. I also spoke of my “struggle to pry away the crust of creative inactivity that has hardened over me, leaving me a dull cistern of lukewarm life juice, sloshing and slopping all over my dried up mental flooring.” Sigh…I really need to get my act together, quit my complaining about this and that, and do something important. My birthday was a few days ago, and it served as yet another reminder that time marches on (nod to Metallica) regardless of whether I’ve got my marching shoes on or not. Lately I’ve been identifying with the character of Ed Chigliak in the late great television show Northern Exposure. Ed is a frustrated artist, a dreamer, and is seemingly incapable of following through on projects or sometimes even starting them in the first place. He drifts through episodes of the show, making his trademark movie analogies, but never really doing too much of anything. I don’t see my identification with Ed as a good thing, especially as he is 21 or so, an age at which such confusion and uncertainty is often a given, whereas I am much older, and yet in some ways I feel like I have not progressed much farther on my path than Ed has. However, I take heart in what the character of traditional healer Leonard tells Ed during one of Ed’s particularly low points: “The path to our destination is not always a straight one, Ed. We go down the wrong road, we get lost, we turn back. Maybe it doesn’t matter which road we embark on. Maybe what matters is that we embark.” To that I would add that it is also our travel down the road itself that often affects us the most.

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  1. Man, I miss Northern Exposure. Here’s to finding a meaningful road…

  2. a belated happy birthday to you, mister. you know I identify so much with what you’ve written here. i hope that despite these feelings you were able to enjoy the day and look at it as a new year, a new opportunity. xo, celia



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