January. Hey, January! Where is the hope and renewal a new year supposedly brings? Where have you hidden my fresh resolve? That drive for personal improvement we so earnestly discussed on all those heady December nights?

Fresh resolve my frozen butt.

I’m exactly the same person with exactly the same weaknesses as ever – just not as drunk or hopeful. And now I’m stuck here in JANUARY, frigid desolate grey January, without nearly enough excuses to rediscover my willpower OR get drunk.

And I’m so tired of being cold.

Winter guarantees intellectual myopia. I become small-minded in my chilled and contracted physical world, unable to think beyond the thin walls of a drafty house. My body hides beneath a defense of sweaters, scarves, socks, blankets. I’ve forgotten what my own skin feels like. But here: full moons, big skies, bare shoulders, flowers and long views have been my drawings, in direct opposition to this closeted, wintry world – though every idea seems tinged with frost. True desires and fears manifest only in dreams, pin-sharp against vague days. And in my diminished waking life, smaller things take on larger meaning. I am stuck, staring cross-eyed at the components while ignoring the whole.

I digress.

A friend of mine wants to take a trip to New Mexico. Would I like to go? Get out, get away, go find some of that elusive hope and renewal? I raise an eyebrow from within my wool and cotton wrappings. Would I like to get out from under these layers, these leaden skies, my mind gasping and shrinking like a deflated balloon? Would I? A muffled HELL YES!

Travel makes me see better. A good junket restores my long-range perspective in thinking and doing. The clear vision, the wide-eyed focus I can gain on my fate is, conversely, like squinting at a painting in progress: better to see it’s entirety through half-closed eyes. Better for determining your next big swipe of the brush, without getting hung up on the details. I can view the lay of the land in my life when I am somewhere different, when I drive long distances and just end up. Simply being in a new place to check my email every morning is fun. I like change, I like exploring. I like shrugging off the usual routine, in body and mind. It’s good medicine.

All this and not a word about the actual trip – though here I am, ten days deep. Ah, musings! Next time.

(this idea became a poster for the very talented Night Night)