The Year in My Rearview Mirror

2019 is about to escape into dimming memory, and it is welcome to do so. It has been quite a while since we have been under attack from so many sides: political, economic, environmental, social, and some people don’t seem to realize that conditions decay because of the interplay of these. As a nation, as a culture, I don’t believe we’ve felt so out of control and victimized since the 1970s.

For myself, it hasn’t been a stellar year in many respects, although it appears it will end more pleasantly than I had hoped. My upstairs neighbour has left, and for the first time in many months, I have had a full-night’s sleep. I take no credit for her moving, or for the ten hours I slept last night. My battle with PTSD continues and changes and shifts.  I will never win these constant battles, but I will never lose them either, and until the battles are decided, they will never cease. Because of them, I am uniquely equipped to support other people like me, and our biggest difficulty often is dealing with people who are not like us.

In contrast to the darkness of 2019, there is light: I’ve completed two novels which I’ll be releasing in 2020: ‘Tea with Violins’ and ‘The Sacrament of Poison’, and in January I’ll release a rewrite of my novel/novella ‘The Inn of Souls’. The rewrite, which is an expansion on the original story, is called ‘The Souls of Grace Cove’, and while it’s the same story as its predecessor, it’s much more complete and better written. In this regard, I’ve had fun exploring the creative process and simply, just writing. I can wake up in the morning and look forward to spending the morning playing with words to paint a mental image.  There is infinite freedom when you let your imagination run rampant.

In an article I wrote in 2017  called ‘Hope’, I said we had a choice of entering the new year carrying a light, or wearing a blindfold. It was one of the few times I’ve received comments on an article, although comments are always welcome.

At the end of 2019, the blindfold seems preferable, but I still encourage people to hold the light. Total evil, like total darkness, depends on its own purity to survive. As long as there is even the tiniest bit of its opposite, it is weakened. Saint Porphyrios wrote: Do not fight to expel the darkness from the chamber of your soul. Open a tiny aperture for light to enter, and the darkness will disappear.

The entities we can’t control are going to do whatever they do, and ultimately they’ll destroy themselves because that’s what evil does. To the best of our abilities, in 2020, let’s keep that aperture open for the light to enter. This prevents darkness from having a complete hold on us.

As before, so again:  ‘…we have a choice.  We can enter the new year with a light, or a blindfold.’

My prayers for your safe, prosperous, and joyful 2020!

Paul TN Chapman
[email protected]


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