Tuesday, January 1, 2008


New Year's resolutions? Old school. This year, everyone has a theme.

Laura Salas has declared it the Year of Losing Control. Robin Brande says it's the Year of Independent Thinking. Donna Koppleman decrees it to be the Year of Uncommon Effort.

As for me, I hereby pronounce 2008 to be

The Year of Once (Upon a Time)

This year, I want to believe in the magic of words on paper. I want to believe in love that transforms, and art that heals. I want to believe in journeys that change you, in spells that are broken, and in rough stones (even me) that become gems.

This year, before saying "no" to something I'm afraid of, I'll say: "Once. I'll try it once."

This year, before saying "yes" to something that beckons to me, I'll say: "Is it part of the story I want my life to tell?"

This year, each day, every day, I'll begin with: "Once upon a time, there was a girl who believed..."

What would you do if it were "once upon a time" every day?


  1. This post is reason (or example) #91728 why you're inspiring.

    The next-to-last sentence of this post is very similar to the start of a story I wrote.

    To me, believe is an important and powerful word and concept.

    It IS once upon a time every day, upon waking, when infinite possibilities await.

  2. Wow. Wow, wow, wow! I love the idea of life as story... I've come across that in the fairytales of Terry Pratchett; the idea that Story will take over and do what must be done. I love the idea of asking yourself if this is really part of your story, or a bit you'll want to edit out.

    The Year of Once (Upon a Time). The year of "You Only Go Around Once." The year of learning not to waste time, but to spend it lavishly, on the things that matter.

    Happy Stories to you, friend.

  3. Smart & touching, Sara! Happy New Year ... once? (nah, many times!!!) And yes, New Year's in France is chilly cool!

  4. Sara, I've admitted before that I don't like "beautiful" writing. But your posts manage to be gorgeous in both thoughts and words...always thoughtful, always provocative! I love them.

    Happy New Year, and Happy New Day every single day.

  5. Great post, Sara! A beautiful expression of the possibilities New Year's Day brings!

  6. Thank you for the inspiration in the new year. So much better than "I'll stop eating chulupa's at Taco Bell."

    Happy New Year!

  7. Okay, so I have a little story in this life-as-a-story theme goin' on here.

    I don't mean to go on about our harrowing interstate experience the other day, but -- as I was just telling Eisha -- here's something funny that happened: After getting to the restaurant which was our destination -- when we almost got bulldozed by an SUV and spun around in circles in the middle of the interstate yet MIRACULOUSLY did not get hit by a single vehicle -- the hostess who seated us was named Piper, and our waitress was named Miriam. My daughter's name is Miriam Piper. Two names we just never come across. And Miriam and Piper (the teenage waitresses) are best friends. We thought it was cute and funny, and Miriam (the teenager, not mine) was so pleased by the coincidence (she was more like tickled; she had that kind of wonderful personality). So, my husband tells me later that, still shaking after our near-death experience on the interstate, he actually thought at that moment that perhaps we were really dead and just didn't realize it, like some wild science fiction narrative.

    Or maybe, if life is a story, that was some kind of sign, and my little Miriam Piper is meant to do something big one day. Once upon a time, Miriam Piper will discover cancer's cure or write a lovely novel. Or just "affect the quality of one's day," which, according to Thoreau, is the highest of the arts.

    I don't normally believe in signs, as unromantic as that sounds, but it's fun to wonder, esp. since the results for what happened to us should have been very grim, yet we somehow didn't get a single scratch.

    I *can* say that it's weird to suddenly wonder if you're really dead and just don't realize yet (which I wondered for a few days myself), but it seems to be the case that I'm alive and can still read great posts like this. And more Sara Poetry.

    (In fact, I wanted to write a poem about this fabulous, happy, friendly, teenage Miriam waitress, all full of life and promise, and a poem about the whole moment, as the WHOLE WORLD at that point was full of life and promise to me, just being alive after all. But I might have a great idea, yet it comes out very clunky in poetry for me).

    My, I have just gone on and on. Sorry.

    -- Jules

  8. Jules,
    There's a lovely word for those people who "go on and on" and have amazing stories to tell: novelists. Not that I wouldn't like to see your poem, but go with your strengths, dude. I would love to hear the story of Miriam, the teenaged waitress who helps you know if you're dead or alive. Just saying.

  9. Don't forget about "Happily Ever Afters..." Dare to dream! Thanks for the sunshine!

  10. So beautiful and inspirational!


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