A New-ish Year

May we all be inscribed in the Book of Life by whoever does the inscribing. May we dip apple slices in honey, munching and crunching, smiling and saying to those we love, “Life is sweet.” May we curl up on a comfy couch reading a good book, transported to new worlds. May we send energy and hope for more equitable happier lives to young protesters everywhere, from New York City to Cairo. May we truly love who we love.

That’s my prayer on this Yom Kippur, the most sacred day in the Jewish calendar. It doesn’t serve me or anybody else to sit in a synagogue for hours listening to words that mean nothing to me. I like to think for myself not blankly recite somebody else’s words. There’s no comfort there.

At 65, I’m still a rebel in my heart. I weigh more than ever and my silvery short hair looks weird. (Plus, as Dan just said, I sing funny). I’m not one of “The Crazy Ones” like Steve Jobs who will change the world but hell I’ve done my part.

Starting this new-ish year, I’m grateful that Dan is here. I’m grateful that Ethan and Brook are well and happy, contributing to the world of ideas — the only thing that can change the status quo. Occupy life, “Occupy Wall Street.” Speak your mind. They’re doing it in their own ways. I’m a proud mama.

The status quo sucks right now. I’m obsessed with Steve Jobs, not because he followed his heart like some new-agey mantra, but because he could sit down, think clearly and accomplish his dreams. As The Onion says, maybe he was the last American who knew what the fuck what he was doing.

I remember parents who came to Oz Books, my children’s bookstore in Maine, during the 1990s, lamenting that their kids only wanted to read fantasy. They asked me to recommend nonfiction; they wanted their kids to read true stuff.

“Imagination is more important than knowledge,” I always told those parents, quoting Albert Einstein. So in this new-ish year, my hope is that more people tell the truth — and use their imaginations — for the betterment of us all.

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2 Responses to A New-ish Year

  1. Lucy Tracy says:

    This was a great one Sheila, so full of your heart, I just needed to hear your voice. keep on writing!

  2. sheilawill says:

    Thanks Lucy! I appreciate you reading all my stuff. I’m happy to know that Chris and Ethan are spending the evening together in Houston tomorrow! Don’t know when I’ll get there.

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