Letter From New York 01 01 15 Passing from one year to the next…

The sun is setting again, just like it did last year and as it was when I finished the last Letter From New York, 2014. Just yesterday. Today, it is 2015 and, frankly, I started the day on the cranky side.

Somehow, during the day, I managed to work myself out of crankiness, a not usual feature of my personality. I listened to Zubin Mehta conduct the New Year’s Day performance of Vienna’s Philharmonic.

The day was spent unproductively except for a couple of loads of laundry and some other mundane household tasks. I took a short nap and felt better.

It is a brilliant first day of the year, chill but not really cold, with golden light playing across the woods outside my window. Unusually, there have been no deer sightings today.

Here in the little town of Claverack, all is peaceful.

It’s not so peaceful out there in the world.

A year ends and another begins in sadness. A transgender teen took her life; it appears, by putting herself in the way of a tractor-trailer. Such despair breaks my heart. In Florida, a schizophrenic man decapitated his mother with an ax because she was nagging him to take boxes to the attic. In Syria, the death toll from the war there climbed in 2014 to 76,000 and in Shanghai 36 people died in a stampede in the waterfront area not long after midnight. The bodies of victims of the AirAsia crash have started to be identified.

Life has a way of going on, flowing from one year into the next and stories from the end of 2014 continue to play out while new ones begin.

It is nearly two years until the Presidential election but the contenders are jockeying to be THE contender. Jeb Bush has resigned from board posts and Marco Rubio is seriously considering challenging Jeb Bush for the GOP top spot. And there is Chris Christie, too. The Democrats have Hillary and Joe Biden and maybe Elizabeth Warren. It will be interesting to watch the year unfold in politics.

Hillary has slipped a bit in some Democratic polls causing worry that she might be wearing out her welcome a bit as the Democratic front-runner. She hasn’t declared her intentions yet. I suspect she is being coy. And, of course, there is our own Governor Cuomo, who was inaugurated today for his second term as Governor at the newly built World Trade Center. He was sounding rather like he was interested in being something more than Governor of New York State.

Standing next to him was his long time girlfriend, Sandra Lee, whom I knew a bit back in the day in Los Angeles. She was dating a friend of mine then.

As I have been writing this, it has turned dark, the golden light has faded and I will turn on the Christmas lights in a few minutes. My tree still stands and will for a bit more time. I always have a hard time taking it down and surrendering the Holiday season to the fullness of the new year.

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