51 and counting

We count the weeks here at the weekly newspaper. Each issue has its number (this is issue 51) and thus we watch the year go by, inevitably remarking things like, “is it issue 40 already,” and then 50 and then we’re turning over, and doing our end of the year stories again, trying not to say exactly the same thing we said last year, when we were a year younger, just a minute ago.

There have been plenty of things to rant and rail about this year, the frustrations of watching a gridlocked congress do everything in its power to keep our economy from improving, the trials and convictions that resulted from that heinous murder on a Kingston city street, the widely misinterpreted two percent tax cap that hasn’t stopped taxes from going up, the storms that ravaged the hills we live in…

But as we said, it’s week 51, and it’s easier to dwell on the fullness of the glass, on the richness of the musical society, on the beauty of the art we create, on the relationships with people we never knew we’d know, and on the love of living, and know that yes, we are truly the fortunate ones.

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An interesting letter this week from Jeff Sobel posits that our culture is in decline because it is, in essence, aging out. “…empires don’t fall because they’re evil, they bloom, wilt and die like so many roses…their time is their time…I believe that our culture is in the end stages of its life cycle.” Maybe so. But it also points to the necessity of cultures flowing in and out of one another, one ascent, borderless, carrying others along with it. Ideals of liberty, equality and faith exist regardless of our ability to establish and maintain them in the long run.

So we approach another issue Number 1, and it is possible to do so with some optimism — kind of like passing Go — to begin counting again, another youth full of step and energy, another try at getting it right.

Have a happy holiday. See you on the Green.++

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