Wednesday, December 31, 2014


New Year resolutions might be made for breaking. They break themselves, or we break them - I'm never quite sure which.  So for several years, we've had a different tradition.  We make effigies  - versions of ourselves, which we want to let go of.

We make them a few days before New Years Eve, and we think about them.  It's fun.  We laugh at our creations. We may even feel some tenderness towards these versions of ourselves. But we don't want these versions to take root and define our behavior. So there's a bit of humor and humility but also sincerity.

Elliot making his effigy

At some point on New Years Eve we share them. If we are gathered together we might briefly speak about them. If not, we might send photographs to each other.  Then we burn them. The significance of your effigy can also be personal and remain private.

Here is mine for 2014.

a me I will no longer be!

Having identified and constructed this iteration of myself, I am consciously letting her go. Goodbye you overly involved and invested person who worries too much about other people's problems! Settle down.  Center yourself.  Observe and let things go (and thank you, Bikram yoga)!  Thus I will move calmly forward, with poise and renewed dignity!!

Happy New Year, Dear Friends.

1 comment:

  1. Happy New Year to Amanda and Ben from John Flynn in Khabarovsk. It's 25 below zero Celsius, about 7 below zero Fahrenheit and there's about 5 feet of snow on the ground, all slicked over and as smooth as glass. I've just finished the semester and have celebrated the New Year with some colleagues, up until about 3:30 a.m. I needed a day to decompress and heal and now I'm back at it. I leave for Turkey on the 7th where I'll meet with my wife and we'll celebrate our 20th anniversary in the same place where we enjoyed our honeymoon. Kinda romantic. The first semester has gone well, with plenty of challenges and surprises. I'm still intact, though I could never "get used to" this kind of climate. It's been frigid since late October. Frigid, at least, for me. By the way, check out my blog at I can say I get out into the weather each day and make the best of my time here. Thinking of you with much love kindness and gratitude, John