A New Year

I’m not much for New Year’s parties or resolutions. Now that I have kids I have even less desire to stay up late among raucous revellers. Going to bed early suits me just fine. I feel like the Gregorian new year is oddly placed anyway. I always feel like it should come either at the winter solstice or perhaps on the vernal equinox. January 1st feels like an arbitrary, but satisfying bookend to the winter holiday season, a point marking the arrival of the longest, coldest part of winter for me: January and early February. This year I felt like my new year began on December 28th, when I boarded a plane for the United States, leaving behind my adventure in the UK.

In my last post I mentioned that I didn’t have many Christmas traditions. I had forgotten about my one New Year’s tradition. Does it have to occur on New Year’s? No. This year it occurred in the post-Christmas time, with friends. I made my yearly collage – a collage of all the things I want more of in the year to come. It’s sort of like a visual resolution poster, only I focus on what I want to fill my year with, rather than on improvements or things I want to stop doing. I can’t remember how many years I’ve been doing it now, or even where I got the idea from. Maybe five or six years now? What never ceases to amaze me is how many of the things come to pass. I consider the poster a magical act. I hang it in my kitchen, for myself and all to see.

Here is last year’s poster:

Collage for 2011

I think this was the first year I moved in a more abstract direction. Things that did not come to pass: I didn’t make it to Iceland (that scenery picture) and I didn’t get much singing in my life (the musical notation). But I did get inspired (this blog). I made choices about my PhD program (I quit). I made some strides toward a healthy postpartum body (I lost the baby weight by eating well). My family added a baby and grew financially. I made some more friends in Lampeter. I had hoped for greater spiritual clarity and I got it. I had hoped for greater clarity around my academic work, and I got that too. I got what I hoped for, but not necessarily in the ways I expected. That’s one of the beauties of this practice.

Here is this year’s collage:

Collage for 2012

(I apologize for the blur. It was the best I could do with my camera phone.)

This year I got even more abstract, and I did not want any white space and I ended up spilling beyond the borders of the poster board. After doing it I realized that it sort of works from a ‘top down’ view. At the top we have the ‘cosmic woo’ and it filters down into a very material, earthy sense. The word I’ve been mulling over all winter is Primal. My family has been loosely following the trendy Paleo/primal diet – with tremendous results and enjoyment. I like the philosophy underneath these movements and want to apply it to more of my life. It fits in with the desire I have to get more in touch with my Fetch, to rely less on my Talky Self. It also applies to how I am viewing my own spiritual urges and needs.

In the collage there is a sort of triptych, three ladies: a forest nymph, a Dia de los Muertos face and a woman that reminds me of a priestess, pouring out her waters. I want to evoke these forms in my own life. I want to know the Land, the earth and that Wildness that comes from time spent in the forest. I want to grow in my understanding of the ‘darker’ side of life, in my understanding of my ancestors and the Mighty Dead. I want to grow in my abilities to minister. I’m not sure what that means! I am interested in what shape this takes when I look back in a year’s time.

In tarot cards, I see the Empress, Death and Temperance, with a bit of the High Priestess.

At the bottom, from left to right we have: salmon and marrow bones (for more primal, healthy eating, and salmon from Alaska), a healthy body, a baby (for family and deciding whether or not we are done with our family), some beautiful earrings (for beautiful things, and more wabi-sabi style), a picture of Sonya Tayeh, a choreographer whose work is fabulous and punk rock (dance is something I always put on my lists of ‘if I had unlimited time or money’ but I never get around to doing), a mostly covered picture of Debbie Harry (punk rock older lady, not that I want to sing punk rock, but I love the attitude. I do not rock. I sing Mozart), a picture of Wales (not that I want to go back but I want to bring what I learned there here, as well as tap into the spirit of that land), and a glacier (Alaska). The words say: joy, freedom, family, exhilaration, and tradition – all things I want more of in 2012.

I hope you have a rich, joyous year ahead. What do you want more of 2012?

**In a side note, I may be slow to post again as I am still in the moving in phase. Boxes are moved, but not unpacked, furniture is being acquired, etc. But have no fear: I will post again within a week!**

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About Niki Whiting
  • Elaine

    Thanks, Niki, I am inspired by your collages, and more so now that I have a sense of what they mean to you. As imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, I may do one for myself. I often encourage my clients and students to draw things, or be creative in these ways, and don’t often get the chance or space to do so myself. I wish for you that the things you desire and need come to pass, and that some surprises (good ones!) come your way. Thanks for the reminder for me to let my creativity take form. Much love. xxxx

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/awitchsashram myownashram

      My pleasure Elaine! I hope you’ll share your creation with me.

  • Pingback: Collaging the Year, part one: A 2012 review | myownashram


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