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December 31, 1999

New Year's Eve celebration with sparklers

I thought it might be fun to ring in this new year with a poem that I wrote on the eve of the new millennium. No partying like it was 1999 for me that night, just recording the momentous event with a bit of off-the-cuff poetry. (Can’t think of a better way to celebrate, actually.)

Here it is:

December 31, 1999

Human

perceptions of one day in

a countless string of days in

the endless circle of time; broken

dreams, broken promises, waiting

here on this hope of hopes to be re-Newed,

repaired,

forgiven,

to be made whole again, flying

out with no regrets and no recriminations.

It is a fragile hope

made strong with bright planning, a tender, weak

and childlike wish teetering on the edge

of some desperation to be more,

to be better, to be worthy…

made confident with the loud

noises and shooters and bright flashes of color and light.

And as an animal with a mind, a mind

too clever for a world too tame,

we view a sunrise and a sunset with added significance,

we remember the circle of the seasons,

we witness the progression of time, wrinkles creeping up on skin,

and we wonder which will be our last sunset, when

will we slip out of time and have no play upon the realm of space;

marking,

marking,

ever so carefully we remember and we record

so that no sunrise passes without our acknowledging it

and our naming of it: Friday, December 31, 1999. 

And when we name

we feel we possess,

and having days and nights as ours

we must be able to control;

and when the blossoms come round again

we give the year to our credit:

I have 25 years to my credit, I am 25 years old.

One hundred spring times will be called a century,

one hundred centuries will be called a millennium,

and from some point of counting, one human

man who read and wrote and counted without the number zero,

the collective Western human society has used

two millenniums’ worth of calendar pages. 

On this night in my world,

with my people who have lived

with me while I have lived, we celebrate… something. 

A fervent urge for renewal, for purging and cleansing,

for wiping clean and starting fresh, the fervent,

urgent, impulsive, inherent need for forgiveness

overwhelms our souls

so that our minds create millenniums

and our hearts sing Auld Lang Syne;

and our voices scream out after our own countdown

so that we may be bigger than ourselves and hold

for one moment

all the precious, pure freshness that was

the world’s on first awakening, that is

the infinite blessing of The Divine.

© 2021 Christina Chase

Christina Chase View All

Although crippled by disease, I'm fully alive in love. I write about the terrible beauty and sacred wonder of life, while living with physical disability and severe dependency. A revert to the Catholic faith through atheism, I'm not afraid to ask life's big questions. I explore what it means to be fully human through my weekly blog and have written a book: It's Good to Be Here, published by Sophia Institute Press.

One thought on “December 31, 1999 Leave a comment

  1. Dear Christina,
    This poem is as beautiful today as the day you first wrote it!
    How about writing your book on poetry? Imagine all the poems you have written?
    I certainly would be interested in owning a few of these books.

    I hope that your Christmas was happy and that your NewYear will bring you all that your heart desires.
    I will keep praying and thanking God for you and the JOY and HOPE that you have brought to many of us.
    Love, Blessings and Prayers,

    Joan Bussiere

    Like

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