Happy New Year 2019!

It snowed briefly both Friday and yesterday here in Kyoto, relatively rare occurrences that still bring me a sense of wonder about our world, a feeling that I hope stays with me as I move into 2019.

2017 started out wonderfully for me and then buffeted me about for the rest of the year.

2018 began with me being bedridden early in the year due to illness but has gotten steadily better since, ending with several hopeful notes for the new year.

One of those high notes was discovering the Lew Griffin detective novels by James Sallis, who is probably best known for the movie adaptation of his novel Drive.

In the second novel of the series, Moth, Lew is asked what he would “scratch out” if he were dying. He answers, “Something from a poem I read a while back, I think: ‘find beauty, try to understand, survive.’”

“Find beauty, try to understand, survive.”

I have never put it in words as simply and elegantly as James Sallis has, but I have been trying to live my life in the same way. And I hope the same for all of you who read this, in 2019 and beyond.

May you find beauty, understanding, and survive all that life throws out you, good and bad.

Have a happy new year!