Jim Furlong: Staring Into the Abyss

It is time to exhale now. We have come through the high tension of  Christmas and we got all the necessary things done or at least most of them. It was tense at times. That is all part of the holiday season. It’s not all O Holy Night and Oh Little Town of Bethlehem.  There were so many things to do. So many obligations and so many people to deal with.

The good news is we didn’t flip out and go nuts, although we may have felt like it and it may even have been close at times, but we came through it and despite the pressures; we had a good time. 

Roller coaster year

Now a new year, probably presented as a diaper-clad baby, comes calling. The only thing we know for certain now is that we have no idea at all what that year will bring. The year past was a roller coaster on almost every level we can imagine. Politically we had two minority governments; one federal Liberal; one provincial Liberal.

Who would have thought that twelve months ago? Certainly not me. I had a hunch Andrew Scheer of the Conservatives would feel the steel of  long knives in his back but that was largely self inflicted and  happened sooner rather than later.

South of the border I’m not putting any money on the American Presidential election in 2020. I lost a hundred bucks to my son who bet me Trump would win in the last one. This year God knows what is going to happen with our American friends.  Trump victory, Trump defeat, coup? I don’t know what will happen, but I know I won’t lose another hundred.

Year of our Lord 2020

Now here at home we do know the great mystery that is the year of our Lord 2020 will unfold as it should. Now I am, in the end, an optimist and I come to the New Year with great expectations. Apart from the great heaving forces that affect our lives, there are the questions large and small that  make up our existence.

Will my snowblower make it through the  winter? The old Yard Works machine is a bit dodgy and we haven’t even had a flake of  snow yet. What about my old 4×4 SUV? She is of the year 2000 vintage which was a good year, but she is leaking a bit of power steering fluid right now. She isn’t the Exxon Valdez yet, but I hope nobody at work will notice the little oil slick under the chassis.

Now these are the little pieces and questions that come forward, but I confess; they are a mask really. The snowblower and the truck and a possible leak in the roof are part of a great metaphor. The real questions are not spoken. What is next? What water will have flowed under the bridge when the calendar rolls again? That is what we consider today in the shadow of New Year images. It is the ultimate question.

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