And so yet again I find myself in the deepening shadows cast by the guttering candle of another year, wondering how strong the light of the next one will shine.
I’m old now. Or older, at least. And with that age has come something that others (kind others) might refer to as wisdom, or something that others (less kind others) could call world-weariness.
I no longer have the fire. The ambition to blaze my own trail through the world, to be the best at this, the greatest at that, the most talented at whatever.
But I do still have the spark. It’s almost gone out a couple of times, I’ll admit it. I almost let it die, reasoning it was easier to let it snuff itself out and stop tormenting me with its shadow plays of wonder and magic.
But I couldn’t.
So here now, in these deepening shadows, I have the spark cradled in my hands. I am blowing on it softly, letting the embers of it glow, nourishing it and keeping it safe. And I am about to let it go. Not to disappear, but to make its own journey through the next twelve months, guided by my intentions rather than my ambitions.
And I feel that may be the kindest thing of all, both for the spark, and for me.
So go, tiny spark. Find your own trail through the months to come, let me follow your light rather than force you to strive to become an unattainable firework that flashes briefly then is gone forever.
Let me give you my intentions, then let me trust you to lead me to whatever you decide is best.
For this next year, I have three. All related, all interlinked. All born from the passions I had when I was a child, when I would create something and excitedly take it to my father, seeking his approval, his blessing.
My father passed this year. Some of these intentions are in honour of him, some are for him. All of them are because of him, of the man he was and the man he brought me up to be.
I shall draw and paint.
I shall write.
I shall make photographs.
I will do all these things not for recognition or reward. I will do them for myself. And I will do them in tribute to my father.
Now — right now writing this — I realise what this spark cradled in my hands here actually is.
And why letting it go, letting it guide me, is so important to me now.
And so I do. Right here, right now.
Guide me, spark.
Just like you always did.