Today is both bright and mercilessly cold here in DC. I want to curl up in a sunny spot on the bedspread, tuck my head under my arm, and sleep like a cat. Like most of you, I'm drifting along in the post-holiday daze, during which 2010 blinks like a beacon of hope. There will be better eating, a cleaner house, and disciplined productivity. There will be freelancing that feels less like a crapshoot and more like a career. There will be computer-printed labels on my file folders.
How strange to be typing this only a few feet from the dining room table where, on Inauguration Day in January 2009, as my sister sipped soup in a desperate attempt to warm up following a disastrous pilgrimage to the National Mall, I glanced down at my laptop and found an email that knocked over the first in a series of dominoes. One book sold. Another book won. I quit my job. I ran away to Wyoming for a month. I heard from translators of my work in Mexico, Bangladesh, and Iraq.
I say all this not to brag, but to admit that the last twelve months have been pretty damn surreal. Things that once seemed far out of reach are, suddenly, within the realm of possibility. But with that agency comes responsibility. This has been a year of promises made. 2010 has to be a year of promises delivered. And to be perfectly honest, dear readers, that's a little terrifying.
The holiday decorations are still up. The volume of emails is still down. Because my family is local, I don't have to spend these days in transit. So this feels like a stolen time. At best, a chance to square away enough work to enter the new year feeling good instead of guilty. At worst, that sunny spot on the bed awaits.
The cover of my first book, inspired by the title poem, shows a cat going through the helical stages of falling. In 2010, may I be so clever in my acrobatics and alignments. In 2010, may the ground rise to meet me.