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A bridge too far…


“The business of life is the acquisition of memories.”—Carson, in “Downton Abbey”

New Year’s resolutions aren’t my thing. Does anyone do them any more?

The resolutions themselves would be forgotten in a fortnight. The reflection, though, on a year (or some other period while the memories are fresh) is worth its weight in—I don’t know. What precious commodity would you suggest?

What does a memory weigh, do you suppose?


This “year-end review” did result in something that looks remarkably like a resolution. During my four-plus years with Dr Bob, there have been three, maybe four, of what I might call watershed moments; graduations of a sort. Looking back, I’d say they were moments when I was in a room, metaphorically, and suddenly recognized a door, open and inviting me to pass through. I would enter that new room and find the door had closed behind me and, in fact, the door, its hardware and trim faded from sight. These were bridges crossed, moments of personal change from which I could not turn back. The semester break held one of those transitions. So my New Year’s Resolution (NYR) will seem so fundamental to some of my friends and most of my acquaintances as to be unworthy of comment. To them, I apologize for bringing it up.

There is now one small voice in my head that asks a simple question: What is my goal? In the beginning, it was Dr Bob’s voice, but two weeks ago it was my own. That basic question has helped me through three recent situations: 1) It enabled me to heal a wound I’d caused someone else; 2) It helped me understand and deal with a friendship that had gone awry; to accept the consequences of its deterioration and not look back with (too much) regret; and 3) It prevented me from expressing an opinion that would only have done harm and hurt someone I care for very much. If testing my actions with “What is my goal?” is, indeed, an NYR, then I’ve made one for the first time in my life—and it’s working.

Leaving one room for another; crossing bridges. Both good metaphors for me at this moment. Which brings me, of course (you knew it would), to a small town in Iowa.

And to a story “ripped from today’s headlines” and begun in the least happy period of my life: high school.

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