Objectively, this was not a good year. I could make a case that a more subjective perspective is all that counts - not to diminish the miraculousness that is an individual human life - but then that would invalidate a particularly cold year whose chill will linger long past the widespread ring of the new on December 31st.
Besides, I don't quite think it's a surprise that 2017 wasn't the ideal revolution around the sun? Is it?
I'm not experienced nor wise enough to offer universal advice on how to make 2018 better, yet neither do I want to be so cynical to accept that there is nothing to be done. Mistaking defeatism for pragmatism is dangerously naive. If you've read previous articles, you know I have nothing but disgust for so much that has transpired this year. That does not mean, however, that I think this is all there is. The cruelty of villains breeds the courage of heroes. Always remember that.
So all I can do is look back, and try in coming to terms with what has occurred. A deep breath is required before physical exertion. The best strategy when you are lost is to process the circumstances, and you'll soon know the way. I frequently meditate - my first step towards soothing my mind involves facing that which brings me duress.
We bore witness to a continuous surge of corruption that has left little faith in many of those sworn to govern and protect us, and the outright abandonment of morals within many governments - across the world.
The uprise of male cruelty and insecurity that had begun last November grew a new head - and we saw how many men we trusted were predators hiding behind a smile. Heroes, leaders, and icons fell at a rate which shows no sign of stopping.
Nature itself brought its wrath to many Caribbean countries and territories, leaving a puncture so deep that it may very well never be truly healed. Apathy only ensured that scar's longevity.
Hell, that's only in my hemisphere! There are so many more god awfully shitty benchmarks of 2017 that I would list, were they not springing about in the news every day all over the world - I'm sure everyone knows well. To be perfectly honest, expunging on what we already know is of very little use at this point.
My reflection is thus: this is our year.
Not in a sense that we, as youth or adults, triumphed or succeeded in huge fashion. We didn't light a shining beacon. The possibility of a glorious golden age may be far away.
This is our year to decide, rather.
The world is not built to our fashion: progression is choked by rigid traditionalism, prejudice and brutality remain the dominant forms of expression, and the method of confrontation towards difficult truths is moronic denial.
Perhaps there is nothing, not yet, that we can do to change such a fundamental nature of something. This fact is especially true at the precipice of a fever pitch, when those forces have been emboldened to an almost hilariously destructive degree. You can challenge them. Or you can embrace them, obliviously comfortable as everything falls around you.
So which side of history will you be on? As the very climate itself, alongside human rights and democratic structures, tumbles and shakes, which side of life will you be on? Will you fight and stand to champion goodness and empathy? Or do you prefer to be complicit in the destruction of those values?
The solution is difficult. But the choice is easy. And once the choice is known to you, clarity overtakes everything. A rebirth ensues. I won't praise humanity, but I won't be so quick to let it be doomed. Too many people died this year to not have their honors sacrificed. At the very least, we owe it to them.
Suddenly, it becomes so simple. 2017 makes sense - it's no longer a mystifying, sensational harbinger of doom, but a panel so drastic in order to help us understand the gravity of deciding where your loyalties lie.
The choice is easy. And that, my friends, is what I think of this year. I don't fully understand, even after coming to this thought. Yet everywhere, we're bombarded with confusion in all realms and senses, and nonetheless, we push on and understand. Otherwise, what's the point of true life?
Ah, so, I've never been one for a straightforward thematic conclusion. And not in some horribly abstract, avant-garde way. A change in format usually tends to make a farewell memorable, in my not so humble opinion. And, do you know - I've been dabbling in poetry lately. Uh, here goes nothing!
The long winter rolls in, armed with icy gale
Bated breaths sing as ribs begin to clatter
Like we are only bones.
Nightfall hurries in with little mercy
And the end of life is the new vista
The sun has left.
Laughter leaves visage to welcome pain
But in your power, you are infinite
A simple act of kindness is such a simple thing.
That is what fires are built upon
The snow is no longer a wasteland
All which is cold is temporarily so.
A chip in the ice and the sun comes back
Trees can grow again, with spring so far away.
Happy holidays, everyone!