thomas m wilson

New Year’s Resolution

January 1st, 2007


I took this photo in May last year in Australia’s central east coast rainforest – in Lamington National Park. I didn’t publish it at the time, but today is a good day to share this river’s beauty with the world.

In Richard Wilbur’s poem ‘Year’s End’ he writes of how most of the time we don’t boldly step into our future’s with clear and shapely resolutions:

‘These sudden ends of time must give us pause.
We fray into the future, rarely wrought
Save in the tapestries of afterthought.’

Australia’s great poetic voice of honesty and human frailty, Michael Leunig, has some words that I think would make a good centre-piece for anybody’s list of new year’s resolutions. The following bit of writing comes from his collection Wild Figments (yes, it has a painting of people picking figs on the front cover). Check it out.

So, in the coming year I will keep this bit of Leunig wisdom always at the back of my mind:

‘A Herbal Remedy for Lifeache’

You suffer from lifeache. Your whole life is sore; it hurts when you move it. Herbal remedy: take one patch of grass, a mild day, and two large green trees. Lie on the grass beneath one tree and contemplate the other tree. Nap from time to time, or gaze occasionally at the grass. Pain will subside. Lifeache cannot be cured, but you can learn to manage the symptoms.