And So It Ends, And So It Begins

I was originally planning to write a post about what a disappointment 2021 was, but when I read the Editor’s Letter in the latest issue of The Week magazine, written by the magazine’s editor-in-chief, William Falk, I decided that he expressed far better than I ever could how disappointing of a year 2021 was. So I thought I’d share with you what he wrote.

This is a dark time in a dark year. It began horribly, with a violent assault on the Capitol intended to stop the peaceful transfer of power — a first for our nation. The climate showed us where we’re headed, as biblical droughts baked the West and sucked reservoirs dry, 115-degree heat waves paralyzed Portland and Seattle, and a polar cold snap froze Texas solid. Forests in the Western U.S. and the world exploded into flames. Monstrous tornadoes — almost never seen in December — erased communities across Kentucky and the Midwest. The pandemic we thought we’d beaten in the spring roared back twice, through Greek-lettered, mutation-disguised variants that have filled hospitals and morgues with the voluntarily unvaccinated. In this season of renewal and of hope, it takes real effort to find optimism about the future in our sore, beleaguered hearts.

We can reasonably hope the pandemic will wane this year at last, after holding humanity hostage for more than two years. But there’s no reason to expect an end to another viral epidemic — of misinformation and tribal hatred — that endangers our democracy. Americans no longer share common facts, information, or trusted sources and experts; a virtual secession has already occurred. Extremists are pushing the parties further apart, and on the Right, a radical, anti-democracy movement is gaining momentum. Three retired U.S. generals warned this week that a disputed presidential election in 2024 could cause “a total breakdown of the chain of command along partisan lines” — and actual civil war. If that sounds nuts, remember that two years ago, an insurrection and a pandemic were just as unimaginable.

In the face of so many troubles and sorrows, what do we do? For perspective, I often think back to what my parents’ generation faced, and how dark it must have felt as 1941 gave way to 1942. Then, as now, surrender was not an option. Curse the darkness. Fight. Persist. The light is coming. Eventually.

The only area on which I may differ with Mr. Falk is where he believes, “The light is coming. Eventually.” I’m not that optimistic. I sincerely hope that he is right and that I am wrong.

Happy New Year, everyone.


Image credit: LemonBox@zazzle.com.

19 thoughts on “And So It Ends, And So It Begins

  1. blindzanygirl January 1, 2022 / 3:28 am

    Very sobering Fandango yet true. I have been thinking the same thoughts myself. A Happy New Tear to you – as much as is possible.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Fandango January 1, 2022 / 8:27 am

      Thank you, Lorraine. I hope the best for you in the coming year.

      Liked by 1 person

      • blindzanygirl January 1, 2022 / 9:34 am

        And I hope the same for you too Fandango.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Terveen Gill January 1, 2022 / 3:43 am

    Wonderfully written! Happy New Year. I always believe that there can only be darkness if there’s actual light. Both need each other. Keep the faith! 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Irene January 1, 2022 / 4:11 am

    Trying times, indeed. I also hope Mr. Falk is right, hang in there, Fandango! As Maureen McGovern would have sung “There’s got to be a morning after, if we can hold on through the night; we have a chance to find the sunshine, let’s keep on looking for the light.” My Best wishes for a healthier, safer and brighter New Year.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Fandango January 1, 2022 / 8:29 am

      Thank you, Irene. I hope we can all find a little more sunshine in 2022. Happy New Year.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Dee Min January 1, 2022 / 4:37 am

    I hope you’ll find more reasons for optimism in this new year. Happy new year 🎊

    Liked by 3 people

  5. donmatthewspoetry January 1, 2022 / 5:17 am

    A good decision using Falk’s article. Says it how it is. It echos much of what you have been saying. Like you, I’m not very optimistic….sadly.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Astrid January 1, 2022 / 6:07 am

    Yes, indeed, in the grand scheme of things, 2021 was rotten. I’m so sorry you’re not that hopeful about 2022. I really do hope Mr. Falk is right though and I am pretty optimistic still.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. msjadeli January 1, 2022 / 8:21 am

    He said it better than I ever could. My logical brain says things will continue to fall apart, but my heart hopes for miracles.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. leigha66 January 1, 2022 / 2:54 pm

    Great share Fandango! It was far from a stellar year, but I too hope for a little light in 2022. Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Taswegian1957 January 1, 2022 / 10:42 pm

    Yes, a good piece and I agree with it completely. I also agree that we have to try to hang on. I hope that our generation will be around to see better times ahead but even if we’re not we can’t stop fighting for a better world even if only with words.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Marleen January 2, 2022 / 1:45 am

    It was a really bad year in world and national news. Ended with sad news in regard to Colorado, too. On the bright side, I saw my kids more than in 2020 and returned (having skipped a year) for my regular eye appointment… bought new sunglasses, which I’ve called my Peanuts flower power glasses. I’m optimistic about 2022. I ended the year writing to a NASA climate person (as well as giving water-protector-related books to two of my sons), and I think I might get more involved. Hopefully, matters pertaining to my mother will be resolved; they aren’t yet. I’m with you on the attitude. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out, 2021.

    Liked by 1 person

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