First Day of the Year … and the Rest of My Life

Posted by VERITAS
Washing clothes … fulfilling anal-retentive impulses by cleaning the drain of the kitchen sink … black-eyed peas for lunch – a New Year’s dish that’s supposed to bring good luck, at least that’s what my mother always said. My mother always said black-eyed peas were a traditional Southern New Year’s dish; never checked – the Internet or anywhere else – to see whether her belief in this regard was commonly held or not . . . just checked: based on this webpage anyway, it seems her belief is common and longstanding.

My mother would also, on New Year’s Day, prepare turnip greens, cornbread, and stewed tomatoes (ours were breaded), all of which are mentioned on the same web page as traditional Southern New Year’s Day dishes, for us to eat.

Such memories of innocuous, quotidian customs, comforts, can provide for me some kind of redemption over our family tragedy while, at one and the same time, rendering the tragedy all the more acute.

In any case, how to gain as much freedom as possible from this tragedy and it’s effects; to take away whatever remaining power it has over my present life — this, I feel, is the main challenge for me this year.