Tuesday, January 1, 2013

My White Whale?

I love the idea of new beginnings, and January 1 is a big one, for everyone. Last year it was even better – it was on a Sunday, the start of a new year at the start of a new week. Tuesdays are ok too, I guess; you never know what will happen on a Tuesday. Just not quite as empowering somehow.

This is, of course, the time for “resolutions” – those lofty goals that people set and almost never attain. Something in the symbolism of the new year beginning gets us motivated to make important life changes; until the realities of every day living creep back in and we realize maybe things can’t really change overnight after all.

So this year I’ve decided to set for myself some “goals”. No resolutions. No promises. Just some goals that I would like to accomplish this year, or work toward accomplishing in the next couple of years. I figure this way I have a better chance of success. Also something I don’t usually do is write them down, which seems silly, since having a written notice of what I want is a great way to keep me focused on getting it. And I'm a writer. This time around I’ve decided to make a list. I love lists, so it’s a win-win.

One thing on that list is to read at least 100 of the books I own but have never read. I believe I counted 103 or so in total, but since I don’t remember for sure (and that’s an odd number), I’m setting my goal for the big one double zero. Starting tonight in fact, with Herman Melville’s classic Moby Dick.

I chose this book for two reasons:  it was an important part of the plot on a tv show I was watching on Netflix the other day, so I got interested in it; and it’s all about symbolism. Everything means something else. And new beginnings, resolutions, all of that great “new year” stuff is full of symbolism as well. Perfect fit.

Moby Dick
is a tale about a man who is searching for his obsession, the elusive white whale. I don’t know yet what my own white whale is, but we can take this journey together and you’ll discover it alongside me. So what do you say? Should we pack our bags and tag along with crazy old Captain Ahab? Who’s with me?

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