Farewell to a Plague Year

2020 shudders to a close. It hardly seems right to let it go without an end-of-year post, but this has been the kind of bastard year in which new challenges keep springing up even in these final days. Comment at any given moment risks being premature. With only three days left before the calendar turns a page, I’m going to risk it.

It’s not that I’ve been plastered to the computer, scrolling for disasters and dark humor like so many seem to do. For one, the muscle problem that devils my eyes has added baroque flourishes that further limit how long at a stretch I can look at a screen. That’s annoying, inconvenient, and freights a load of worry for the future. Among several affronts the year has brought within these walls, having to contemplate that venerable literary phrase, “failing eyesight,” is not the least. I still forget that minutes for every computer-related task must be budgeted. What doesn’t get budgeted often has to slide, and this post slid a bit.

Now that its turn has come up, I find I’m reluctant to dwell much on twelve months swinging between crashing skies and paper cuts. I’m sad, I’m lonely, I’m angry, I’m frustrated, I’m afraid, and many objectively impersonal incidents have felt nastily personal. But, as I am reminded whenever I look outside my own skin, everyone is going through the same. My year has not even been really bad when compared to others. I’ve hit some walls, and some walls have hit me, but I have been mostly healthy. I have even managed to be productive as a creator. That’s a rock on which to cling.

I won’t go into much detail about what Robert Stikmanz has been up to. The Stikmantica newsletter does that each month. You can read the December edition HERE. Instead, I’ll note that for all the disaster and heartache, near the end 2020 mitigated itself a little. The monstrous incumbent in the White House was defeated. The election of Kamala Harris as Vice President opens a new world of possibility. Vaccines for this pernicious virus are in production and distribution. The ravages of pain, desperation and ignorance still beset far too many and touch us all, but we have a basis for going into 2021 with eyes open and shoulders to the wheel. May the new year raise up each of us to work for peace, justice and health. George Floyd. Breonna Taylor.