Every year, for years and years, a good friend of mine has opened the new year with a collage making party. For fifteen years or so, maybe less, maybe more, she has included me – and my family – in this tradition. She calls things into being each year with a series of magazine clippings, some paper and some glue.
Powerfully. Magically. With faith and intention.
Magazines are scattered throughout the room, on tables and on the floor, dogs stepping gingerly around them, roughly over them, kids running in and out, sometimes with scissors. Sometimes not.
We browse, we clip, we share, we stack, we assemble, we discover. We give away clippings we don’t need, or whatever we feel someone else may crave.
There are no rules. Each of us differs in our approach.
I pull what strikes me, hold onto it awhile, let go what doesn’t fit on the page. I do not make resolutions. I do not make a list. I do not make promises I cannot keep. This is not a stand-in for left-brain plans. I pull together passions and color and whimsy and all the loves of my life in this one place, one space, one page. Each year. On New Year’s Day.
One year, I was randomly attracted to a picture of a young girl – maybe 11 – standing in front of a bookcase looking thoughtful. Reflective. Introspective. I was truly taken with the image. I tried to place it in a narrative – tried to give it an anchor, a reason for staying on my page. But there was nothing. No anchor. No reason. No words to express why I needed it there. Since I couldn’t put it aside, I glued it onto my page, in the bottom right corner. Six months later, I was on my first date with Kelly. Her daughter Grace was 11 years old at the time.
“If anyone finds a butterfly, let me know!”
“Do you see anything that looks like it could be Miss E and me?”
“I love all these babies, but I think… I’d better not.”
“Does somebody need compost?”
Social. Self-directed. Communal.
Later, I hang my collage at home, near a candle or a closet of clean clothes, somewhere I can see it every day. I ponder it sometimes. Never too long or too deeply. I simply honor my intentions for the year. Then I go on about my day.
Thank you to friends and family, near and far, who bring love and light to my life each day.