Sarah Vaughn is crooning in the background and the air conditioning unit to my right is trying its darnedest to drown her out, but her silky voice floats over the top of the hum-drum faulty fan striking victory on the air waves. God, she’s good.
I’ve been thinking about life coming full circle this week – I’m a nostalgia kind of gal and I like nothing much more than strolling memory lane at the end of a season to collect up whatever wisdom and experience I may find. Though I don’t really feel like the next 24 hours is the end of a season, and tomorrow will likely feel exactly as today – I do think it’s nice to pause; even if it’s just a semi-colon of a pause, and take check of the year that’s been.
At university I remember my first year Image and Sound lecturer teaching me about something called a synthesis. She said it was a magical paragraph one should wedge in just after the final paragraph of an essay, but before the conclusion as a space where one could voice there own opinions, suggest ideas and thoughts and generally have a bit of fun before the conclusion wound up being merely a revised version of ones introduction.
Dictionary dot com however describes a synthesis as the following…
“1) the combining of the constituent elements of separate material or abstract entities into a single or unified entity ( opposed to analysis).
2) a complex whole formed by combining.
3) Chemistry . the forming or building of a more complex substance or compound from elements or simpler compounds. …
6) Psychology, Psychiatry . the integration of traits, attitudes, and impulses to create a total personality.”
My lecturers definition was perfect for academia… but for life size syntheses, me? I like the Chemistry definition – unusual considering my usual vendetta against sciency/ mathsy/ definite answery schools of thought. “The forming or building of a more complex substance or compound from elements or simpler compounds,” I like that. I like that a lot. Because life is arguably the most complex thing you and I will ever do, and the only thing of great and lasting substance we are given to partake in. It’s a gift, an absolute gift. And that’s an easily overwhelming thing to wrestle with at times when we can only see so far ahead of ourselves. But … it is formed and built up of much more simple elements or compounds. It’s a whole, made up of incompletes. Days, hours and moments. Of all the little mundane things we cast by the wayside.
Me? I’m rubbish at planning for the future, sure I have dreams and goals… but the five step plan to ones destiny has never really worked for me, and when it has – God’s usually had other plans which have succeeded mine by far. But today? Yeah, I know how to do today, and that’s enough at least until tomorrow.
So what has two thousand and ten meant for you? For me, that question is easily answered by saying it has been the hardest, best, fullest year of my life. It’s been everything – I feel like somehow I’ve squeezed two years into one.
But I sit here, with Sarah Vaughn’s voice soaring over the sound of the books in their places at work, and that damned air conditioning unit and as she sings the final lines of one of my favourite songs I feel a certain degree of synthesis. A wholness and wonder at the complexity of life, made up of a million and one elements – and simple little days. So here’s to you 2011.
When the angels ask me to recall, the thrill of it all – I will tell them, I remember you. – Lyrics by Johnny Mercer, music by Victor Schertzinger, beautiful singing by Sarah Vaughn.