I had a lighthearted, low-key New Year's Eve. Husband, my friend Steph, and I took a walking tour over Brooklyn Bridge and watched the fireworks from Fulton Landing. (When Husband bought the tickets, the tour organizer asked me how old I was. "Thirty-five," I said, and he did a double take. "Oh, that's the full adult rate then," he replied. This amused me.) On the subway ride home, we giggled over the stupid outfits that women wore (open toed shoes when the streets are full of yellow slush; raincoats with no apparent other garments under them). I decided that I should take a little break from writing about my grandfather, as I haven't produced anything very good lately, and focusing on other topics might help. Before I went to bed, Steph and I drank tea and ate goodies and gossiped about celebrities. (It turns out that Natalie Portman is pregnancy and Scarlett Johanson and Ryan Reynolds filed for divorce and he might be seeing Sandra Bollock.) I fell asleep content at 2:30. Then I dreamed I was writing about the Warsaw Jewish Cemetery. I filled pages and pages of a notebook with descriptions of visiting my great aunts' graves at night. I knelt down in the snow and felt it cold through my jeans in the moonlight. At the same time I wrote, I reminded myself that a) my great aunts do not have graves; b) I went to Warsaw in June and the weather was sunny and warm; and c) I absolutely was not in the cemetery at night. But I couldn't stop myself from writing that story. It wanted to be written.
My eyes flew open at 8:00. I couldn't shake the images of my handwriting or the feeling of the snow on my shins. For a few years now, I've felt that celebrating the new year is silly. It's not like anything really changes from Dec. 31 to Jan. 1 any more than it does from July 31 to August 1. The work and the obsessions and the desires I had all year continue to carry over into the next days until they are done. I don't think this is bad, though. It just wants to be acknowledged.