Saturday, January 1, 2011

End of a Vacation and a Year

What's it all about?  This ending of a year, closing up of books and looking ahead to a new year, can be a little traumatic.  The phrase "quiet lives of desperation" keeps coming to mind, and yet, it might be because I ended my year reading V. S. Naipaul's Half a Life, which is filled with angst and desperation.  (I also followed it up this morning by reading about ten articles and biographies that have my head spinning a bit.)  Could my reading be seeping into my psyche and making me look at the world with a suspicious, critical eye, and therefore including my own life in that criticism?  Why yes, I think so.  I'm thinking I should have read something a bit more cheery to end my year so I could face 2011 with a bit of positive juju.

Hawaii has been pretty, interspersed with downpours that are actually more common to winter than the sunny paradise that all, locals and tourists alike, actually hope for.  We've had great moments of sunshine and beaches, and other moments trapped inside listening to the hammering of rain on the roof, hoping the power didn't go off.  Thankfully, we had stacks of good books for either occasion.  President Obama actually stays at a beach about 30 minutes from us, and according to all accounts, he is probably enjoying his read about President Reagan.  Not the light read I would want right now, but a very presidential pick.

Thanks to a new ban that has been passed here in Hawaii, last night was the last time that fireworks to the scale we've been accustomed to will be available, and from here on out be quite illegal.  We thought our neighborhood would go out with a bang, and although still a bigger affair than some hometown 4th of July celebrations I've seen, the rain and the new law seemed to put a damper on everything.  In short.  It was a mild celebration compared to last year.  No 16 men, piggybacked, twirling fire, or walking around with chains of firecrackers looped around their necks.  It was good, just much more subdued than normal.

Tonight I hop a plane back to the mainland.  Unlike my turbulence-filled flight coming over, I have high hopes that this flight will be nice and smooth, allowing me plenty of time for uninterrupted reading.  For the flight, I only plan on reading things that will put me into a happy frame of reference for the time being.  I'm not sure I want my mind to be whirling about with social upheavals and injustice at 30,000 feet.  Does this make me a shallow, uneducated reader?  Nah.  Like writing, you have to know your audience and purpose, so in my reading, I know my audience (me) and my purpose (light-hearted happiness to end my trip).

Whatever you're doing on this New Year's Day, I hope it's glorious and great!  Happy New Year!


  1. I wish you safe travels, Becky - and I look forward to hearing what 2011 has in store for you :)

  2. I love your descriptions of Hawaii--you should write travel essays for books!

    Hope you have a safe trip home.

  3. When we were in Hawaii in the 80s, one of the things we enjoyed was the almost daily rains in Kauai. We would get caught in a downpour; ten minutes later you couldn't tell it had rained at all. Really loved that island.

  4. Molly--Thanks! Good luck as you head back to work. Best wishes. :)

    Heidenkind--Oh, how nice are you? Maybe my Eat, Pray, Love dream could become real? (Yeah, right.) LOL. Enjoy your time home!!!

    Rural View--I would love to go to Kauai one day. I've heard it's lovely, although I'll say that all of Hawaii seems to be breathtaking. Best wishes in this new year!