This is a year that was difficult in some way for nearly every-
one, nearly everywhere. Hard times to be sure. Sadly, I have to
admit that on more than one occassion this year, my view was
clouded to the point that I had just plain lost faith, there was just
no way out. What came came from all points on the compass and
with no let up. Wave after wave of misfortune left us reeling and confused, which led to lapses of memory etc. that brought even more in its wake. Relentless, I, and many others, were pummeled mercilessly, day after day, until most everyone I knew was at some point this year on their knees eyes turned to the heavens pleading for two things; the strength to make it through the next ten minutes, and from the deepest part of their soul to make it stop. It has been especially tough for those with families, I can't even bring myself close to understanding how hard it had to be for a parent to tell their children that they had to move, and that they had nowhere to go. How tattered a parents soul gets when a child goes to bed hungry, it went on this year, and still is. Our country is undergoing what many would say is an involuntary transition, that this is the year the American Dream died. My guess is whether you agree with that or not depends completely how you are to define the American Dream. If your version of the "Dream" is based on material well-being and the outward trappings the marketing people have dedicated their lives to force-feeding us. If you can't be happy unless you can buy the newest electronic gadget, or all the other useless bullshit they work so hard to convince us we can't live without, if THAT is what you base happiness on, chances are you are very unhappy. The alternative view is far less popular. How many friends do I have? Isn't that just the best song you've ever heard? You know, the corny shit.
My wish to all of you for a good year to come. One small suggestion, hang onto your friends, try to love yourself, listen to more music, laugh, alot.