Originally posted January 1, 2010 at Gaia.com
I can’t believe this happened a whole year ago. And I would never have expected my New Year’s Eve date to be a carriage ride through the sky with my favorite disembodied being, someone I’m introducing to you for the first time here. Nothing like it has happened since, but one can hope.
(This year, drumming and dancing with my husband– my favorite person who is made of molecules. And again writing over a glass of sparkling pear juice.)
I’ve always hated New Year’s Eve. Everyone is obliged to act so relentlessly happy. This was perhaps a more hopeful December 31 than we’ve had for a while, though a more difficult one. Yet, as usual, I can only think of everything I failed to accomplish in the past year.
I was expecting some fun, though. Last year there was a dance party at the Nia studio, and that was the most fun I had ever had on New Year’s Eve. This year I thought they were going to do the same, and I’d been so looking forward to it. They decided to do a regular class instead. I went anyway, thinking I could still use the exercise. The teacher had chosen music that was all recorded in 2008—a terrible year for pop music, apparently. After the third rap song my whole nervous system felt so irritated and injured that I had to leave. I went out into the night grousing to myself about what a crappy holiday New Year’s Eve is.
Bob had a big band gig, so he was away. I had invited Mendy over, but she felt she needed to stay at her office, so I dropped in on her with some cookies after the Nia class, while she was in between clients. Fryderyk turned up soon after I got there. Mendy caught sight of him and announced that “you know who” had come in, and I felt him warmly surrounding me a moment later. Things were about to get a lot more exciting.
Earlier in the day, I had been writing about my project of designing a shirt like the amazing one he had shown me while we played “guess what Fryderyk is wearing” a few months ago. Perhaps that was why he made a special effort at costuming. “He’s telling you to look at what he’s wearing,” Mendy told me.
“Funny you should mention that.” I gazed over to my left, where I knew he was standing, though I had not yet seen anything. His waistcoat began to come into focus. First satin lapels (shawl collar style) in a very dark blue, verging on purple (that color again), then the body of the garment, with a squiggly pattern of embroidery all over it. A white shirt. Black pants and shoes—I remembered to look all the way down at his feet this time. A white cravat again. Then he put on a black coat—I could see each of his arms going into the sleeves, the coat lifting and then dropping onto his shoulders—and I supposed he must have changed his mind about the cravat, because suddenly it turned black. A black top hat came into view above all that. Mendy and I were helpless with laughter as he performed this reverse strip tease. (And we weren’t even drinking.)
“Why can’t I see your face, when I can see all your clothes?” I asked, a little frustrated. But really, I couldn’t pick up a lot of detail on most of the costume, so it’s not too surprising that, try as I might, I couldn’t clearly visualize his features. Dang. It was one of the best overall views I’d ever had of him, though.
A black walking stick jumped into his left hand. “He’s asking you to go out with him,” Mendy told me. “He wants you to celebrate.”
“We’re already out.” (I tend to be literal-minded!)
“He wants you to put on a hat,” said Mendy.
“I don’t have a hat.” (Did I mention that I’m literal-minded? Of course I was supposed to make one up. I never managed to.)
He put a soft, warm wrap around my shoulders; I couldn’t see what color or fabric it was, but it felt good. I could see a city street opening in front of me, with loosely defined, cartoon-like trees. He beckoned for me to follow. Mendy said, “He wants you to come out under the stars.”
I found myself suddenly terrified, and I had no idea why. I absolutely could not make myself move forward. It was as if there were a wall in front of me. “Why am I so afraid?” I asked out loud. I was never able to answer that question. Perhaps I felt unable to let my imagination loose in that way. Was I afraid I’d get lost somehow? How could I be afraid when he was holding my hand?
After a few difficult moments, I mastered the fear, and I mentally went out into the dark street with him. “I’m expecting it to be Paris, so it seems like Paris to me,” I said.
In my head, I heard, “It’s wherever you want it to be.”
There was a carriage. Suddenly I found myself inside it, without any sensation of having opened the door or gotten in. I felt that he was sitting with me, still on my left. I could almost see horses, but not quite. The carriage rolled forward a little way, then rose into the sky. What fun! I never had any sensation of great acceleration, but there was an image of “speed lines,” as in a cartoon or a space movie, as if we were moving so fast that our forms were drawn out into long streaks.
This went on for just a minute or two. The carriage lowered itself gently back to the earth, and I stepped out. That was the end of the visuals. It was the first I had ever journeyed with Fryderyk, in the shamanic sense, and the first I had ever journeyed so vividly and visually with anyone.
I just had my traditional New Year’s sauerkraut. Apparently if you don’t eat it you’ll have terrible luck all year or something. Now I’m sitting here with my champagne flute of sparkling pear juice. It’s nearly an hour into 2009. Whoop whoop. I hate New Year’s Eve a little less right now.