Happy New Year, I Think!

2 01 2012

Finally, it’s January 2nd, and that means all the presents have been unwrapped, put away or returned, and countless bottles of champagne have been consumed and relegated to the recycle bin.  It’s time to refresh, renew, and get back to work.

I’m not a big fan of New Year’s Eve, never quite sure what I’m supposed to be celebrating or whether I’m doing it as well as everyone else. And I don’t know about you, but for me that ball dropping in Times Square has always seemed a bit depressing. To be honest, I get more excited thinking about the clean up crew, sweeping the streets of party debris before morning.

Maybe that’s because no recent New Year’s Eve can compare to my favorite, more than 20 years ago. It involved a couple of plastic sleds, an icy, steep hill, and a boom box wrapped in plastic. That was the New Year’s Eve I spent with four friends and no particular plans, sledding all night long in a mild snowstorm while listening to the top 40 countdown on a portable radio.

Now that was an unforgettable New Year’s Eve.

No grandiose build-up, no new sparkling dresses, no over-the-top preparations, no select guest list, no extravagant expense: in other words, no unrealistic expectations that could never be satisfied.

And so, for 2012, my resolution is to experience art in the same spirit as that long ago New Year’s Eve.

I resolve to experience more art spontaneously. To walk in off the street more often and make last minute decisions to attend a performance without anticipation or over-planning.  I resolve to call a friend and invite her to come with me, without any expectation that they must know or care for the particular artist or event.  I’ll go with an open mind and an open heart.  And I’ll remember that memorable art doesn’t necessarily need a critic’s review, a $50 ticket, a memorized libretto, or a proscenium stage.

Sometimes a satisfying art experience can happen on the street, in someone’s living room, in a cold one-room gallery, or on a brick wall in a forgotten alley.

I want an unforgettable art experience in 2012, but I also know that it’s something you can’t plan for. I’ve got to just jump on the sled and go along for the ride. Bring it on!

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