Showing up for the work.
I've been doing my usual December thing: looking back at the year just past, tallying up the wins, losses, experiences, highs, lows, people I met, places I went, shows I saw, readings of my work, the work of my friends. This is important: a quick backward glance tends to show me all the failures and missed opportunities, but a thorough reflection turns up the good stuff. I don't know why my mind likes to paint the failures in screaming yellow and offer up the successes in builder's beige, but it does. It's also gala season and fundraising season and my inbox is full of invites, appeals, and pitches. Which is why I was reading about the Kennedy Center Awards, not usually something I'm particularly focused on. But this year they honored Carmen de Lavilland, and I won't pretend I knew who she is before this, though I probably should have. The headline about an 86-year-old dancer still showing up for class caught my eye, and I read further. And more. And then more. And I am so glad Carmen de Lavilland was honored this year, this craptastic year, this insane year, because Carmen de Lavilland is the genius of Showing Up:
I resolve to be a little more Carmen de Lavilland in 2018. I may never win another award in this life. But I will be around. I will be writing. I will be working. I will be pointing at what's good and jumping up and down, excited to show everybody else the cool thing I found, saw, heard. And I will especially be shining a light at all of us who show up, who don't try to make a bargain with a world, that we'll share our gifts if the world will give us cash and prizes. Hooray for cash and prizes, I'll never knock 'em, but I am here regardless. And so are you.