Wednesday, December 28, 2016

year's end

I've been celebrating my 50th all year, mostly in a futile attempt to over-compensate. I've sort of been going round, happily embracing the idea of the new decade, seeing friends, in the hope that if I pretended it was OK it would be.

It's not. It's much more complicated.

But the idea of seeing friends this year was a masterstroke. If I haven't seen you, I apologise; next year in Jerusalem. 2016 has been full of meetings and laughter and memories and joy. I have seen folk I haven't been with for years, and I have loved every second. From Paris and the Dordogne to Nashville and DC, with Cornwall, Florida, Wales, London and all sorts of other places thrown in, it's been great to travel and to see folk - and the party on September when a ton of people came here was amazing.

I don't think I could even begin to choose highlights from the year. It's like choosing my favourite chocolate - normally the answer to that one is "the one right here right now".

Though (to go for a non-friend memory) it might be a very long time before I forget the LSO's Verdi Requiem back in September... It's good to hear music you love done so well it makes you weep. And an afternoon in DC with Karen is always, always a joy. As was Romans in an Hour at Truro Church. And now I've started...

But I'll let the memories fade. The moments were enough. Thank you to everyone who made this year amazing. Thank you. For friendships and conversations and laughter and ideas that fill this life. For making me think harder, for agreeing and disagreeing and for being here and there and always only a thought and a prayer and an email away.

Here's to more next year. I have a big house, a bigger garden, and the world's greatest university on my doorstep. Come visit soon.

Finally, in a year filled with democratic surprises and celebrity demises, I'm just glad to be here. Grateful to be gifted with friends and family who agree and disagree over everything under the sun, grateful to have such variety of thought and opinion all around, grateful to feel the love of God and the challenge of his Spirit in every conversation and encounter. The job requires me to sit with families facing mortality, and please tell anyone who needs to know that should I choke on a turkey bone, I want you to laugh lots (at me, with me, whatever), talk about Jesus, sing nothing but resurrection songs, and finish the burial service with the William Tell overture. Hey, I'm fifty. I could have a Saga holiday; I get to think about these things...

Oh - and as my first post of the year began with this song, just me and a guitar, let's finish with the same song, but with MGQ playing. That was a fun night.
One day soon we all will be together...