• Jan Avellana

For Next Year's Words Await Another Voice

- T. S. Eliot

Here we are in the inbetween again, where most of our living happens. Part of me desperately wants this year to be done and over, for it will forever be the year my mom and my aunty died within a month of each other. And then Michelle. But then I think, it is also the year I had last hug, last laugh, my last conversation and last meal with them. 2020 is the year I lost them in this life, though I know they are found now, coming to me in different ways.

This is the year that almost ate me alive with transition and grief. The year that I came the closest I ever have to having a complete breakdown, the year that anxiety and depression had their way with me for over four months. But it is also the year that I clawed my way back, the year that God slathered me with his grace and faithfulness in spite of all that I lacked. 2020 is the year that I realized again, that I am a resilent cheetah, as so many other women in my life are.

I have never felt more alone than I have this year. Yet, many times, I let this intense loneliness move and fuel my creative life. I open up and let the ache come all the way in and I make peace with it, and the solitude I feel so deeply becomes like a dear friend, and ironically I find that I am no longer alone. I can't explain it other than to say that my inner life benefits greatly from solitude and I seek it often.

I wonder in hope at what goodness 2021 will hold. I wonder what my voice will sound like this year, and what creative births will take place? I wonder if I will see Japan again, one of my great loves. I wonder. And I hope.

What do you wonder and hope?