Thursday, 29 December 2011
Making an End
The subject of year end posts came up in Blog Catalogue. I’ve never written one for the simple reason that in the time that Ana the Imp has been in existence I’ve never been around at the year end, signing off just before Christmas. Well, here I am, close to the midnight hour; so, in the absence of anything else, here is my premier year end post!
In a Janus-style I look back and I look forward. Speaking personally, it’s been a good year for me, one of the best ever, though I feel a slight sense of guilt for saying so, with all the troubles in the world, troubles in so many lives. I’m conscious of how fortunate and privileged I am, able to do things that so many others can only ever dream of. But it’s the only life I will ever have and I simply must make the best use of it in the way that I see fit.
My year began in Austria, there on a skiing trip; it will end also with a skiing trip. I was in Paris at Easter, pursuing every romantic cliché that you can imagine and a few you probably can’t! Then there was Peru and latterly Egypt, more experiences that will leave an indelible impression on my mind, not just because of the marvellous monuments I saw but because the people I met, decent, lovely people, no matter their race, religion or politics.
But travel is not just about personal gratification; it’s about understanding a little more about the world, seeing the mountain, so to speak, through other eyes and from other angles. If at the end, if in looking back, I can say it was all worth doing, that I have no regrets and I would do it all again without changing a thing, then I will be satisfied. Let's plunge ourselves into the roar of time, the whirl of accident; may pain and pleasure, success and failure, shift as they will - it's only action that can make a woman. I offer apologies here for a slight adaptation of the words of Goethe.
My personal development continues; my reading gets broader and my experiences deeper, my intellect more subtle, my judgements less harsh; well, not quite as harsh as they once were. I have so many people I am thankful for: my wonderful parents, old friends and new friends, here, there and everywhere. And of course there is you; yes, you know who I’m talking about, my ever faithful shadow.
I look forward into the year of the Maya, the year of great events, anticipated and projected. Do I think something cataclysmic is going to happen? No, quite frankly, I don’t, but even if I did what could I do, what difference would it make? If the world goes then I go with it, a happy fatalist.
I certainly hope for the sake of America, and for the free world as a whole, that Barack Obama goes. I care nothing about his race, his ethnicity, his religious beliefs and the ambiguity over his birth certificate; all of that seems utterly irrelevant. What is relevant is his complete incapacity for high office, the almost total absence of the qualities of steadiness and determination that are essential handmaidens of leadership. America seems to be drifting at the moment; and when America drifts we drown.
Turning closer to home I see the European Union, that unnatural monster, descending ever deeper into chaos, a farce played out in several unappealing acts. I find it difficult to express how much contempt I have for the sad mediocrities in the chanceries and palaces across the Continent. In the words of Margaret Thatcher, they are indeed a pathetic bunch. The sane thing is for Britain to get out of the club, something I hope to see one day.
On the subject of Margaret Thatcher the first film I intend to see in the New Year is The Iron Lady with Meryl Streep in the title role. I can’t think of anyone else I would choose for the part. The advance publicity I’ve seen looks good. If it helps understand one of the truly great figures of the last century then it will have served its purpose very well, even if it is a warts and all portrayal. There is indeed a price to be paid for power, and with the highs come the inevitable lows. Enoch Powell was absolutely right in his assessment of political careers.
Well, that’s it, that’s enough, my end of year report. I’m leaving for France on New Year’s Day for a week’s skiing. So, I’ll see you all over another border in time. Have a very, very happy New Year and may it bring everything that you would wish for.
For last year's words belong to last year's language
And next year's words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning.