Ring Out, Wild Bells by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, published in 1850Mormon's are familiar with a variation of this poem in hymn #215 Ring Out, Wild Bells. It conveys how I'm feeling this morning - I'm ready to ring out with the old and ring in the new.
Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light;
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.
Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.
Ring out the grief that saps the mind,
For those that here we see no more,
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.
Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.
Ring out the want, the care, the sin,
The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out thy mournful rhymes,
But ring the fuller minstrel in.
Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.
Ring out old shapes of foul disease,
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.
Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.
2009 is also the year where, for the first time in my entire Mormon life, I began to wonder if there is a place for me at the table in the LDS church - or will they only set a place for me as long as I pretend to be something I'm not. In truth, the seeds of this discontent were sown in 2008 - but it festered throughout 2009.
And, in a final slap in the face, my doctor's office called New Years Eve with the results of my latest blood tests. It turns out I may have diabetes - they want me to get a glucometer and start measuring my blood sugar before every meal and go back in a month with the results. Of course, that blood test came at the end of a major holiday season where cookies and treats are just part of the diet - so, of course, my blood sugar was higher than normal, or am I just fooling myself? And, I find myself wondering if I even care. Should I change my diet, try to loose some weight, and live longer? Truthfully, there is a certain appeal to hastening my eventual demise. We're all going to die sooner or later - is there a particular reason why I should try to make that later rather than sooner?
We had been invited, with other empty nester couples, to someone's house to play games and bring in the New Year; but, they called Wednesday night to explain that some family situation had arisen so they had to cancel. Although, I'm really not all that disappointed. One of the other couples that were coming, the husband has a proclivity for making homophobic comments during in priesthood meeting. If the discussion turned to politics, I thought it pretty likely he would open his mouth and say something stupid - and I just wasn't in the mood to deal with that.
I apologize for such a depressing blog post -but that's just how I'm feeling right now - it's how I've been feeling for a while now. We come into this world, we deal with a bunch of crap, and then we die - is it worth it? Sorry, there I go all dark and gloomy again.