New Year’s: Changing Numbers Changes Nothing

Cherie Hanson
8 min readDec 31, 2020

On New Year’s I sit with the realization that I am learning to live in the space between. It is like the transition from one planet, one reality to another. This cycle has been the stuff of a Sci-Fi movie.

Inside the space station, I float alone. As I make my bed, tears just come. It is not crying as much as it is shedding. I can’t feel it building up as I have in the past. That was a time of drama… of the spike of tension and then the dissolution. It is different now.

There is no particular trigger point. I fold the sheet back and thank my bed for carrying me peaceful in the dark. And then the tears begin so effortlessly, so naturally, I don’t even register that “this is crying.”

The silence around me is thick, steady and comforting. No dog barks, no voices mark the air outside my window, no cars roar past. It is just this, this, this, this.

After the snow, I sometimes hear a neighbour scrapping the sidewalk and I think, “Oh, she is still alive.”

I am grateful that in the past I worked with great optimism and attention to learn how to dispense with the thoughts of the narrative of my history. It happened but I release it.

“You are making yourself with your thoughts,” I would remind myself. So now I am a practised warrior who can take out the curved blade and slice through the fibre of old narrative that tries to wind around me.

“Thinking of the future,” I remind myself,” Is as useless as putting a coin in the slot of a roulette machine. I can’t even formulate a desire for which row of matching images I wish to see stop in aligned perfection.

I divert the need “to know” in the daily ritual of study of the function of the brain, the imprinting effect of society and family on the projection of who individuals believe themselves to be. I know that it is impossible to avoid the lessons.

We grow: we suffer. One of those is the road we select to travel. It isn’t as complicated as we try to make it.

I have known for two years that this tornado of disruption was coming. It was as clear to me as if I were in the Midwest and the air pressure suddenly pushed down trying to collapse the landscape. I knew the storm was coming through my body, my messages.

I keep bringing my mind back to now and it is so like trying to control a toddler. It wants to run everywhere and touch…