Thursday, December 31, 2009


it's been a hell of a december. horror highlights: I had the H1N1 virus, and my s.o., jim, decided to move out (tomorrow, on the new year). it's an amicable parting, probably best for us both, but very sad. these last few days of saying good-bye have been heartbreaking. and now I am faced with my entire future--grocery shopping for one (is there anything sadder?), wondering whether I will be able to afford to stay in this house or have to sell and rent. should I (can I stand to) stay in Savannah until I am vested at school (6 more years) and eligible for a pittance of a retirement? can I manage Lucy (dog) alone? can I manage myself alone?

this entire past decade has been one of swift and profound change. life as we knew it in the U.S. ended on September 11, 2001. and racism as we know it took a big hit on January 20, 2009. war, unfortunately, is not over.

among other personal endings I faced the end of my marriage, of my son living at home, of my life in a house I loved on a lake in Atlanta, of my professional relationships with my editors and agent...and now of my relationship with jim. I have endured lyme disease, gallbladder surgery, several colonoscopies, all manor of minor ailments, and clinical depression.

among the good things: I published two novels and a chapbook. my son graduated (BS, MS) from Stanford and began living a cool life working for Yelp! in San Francisco. my daughter married and had my grandson, my beloved max, while managing to continue working as community editor of The New York Times web. her husband, my son-in-law, quickly worked his way from beginning a writing career as a freelancer to executive editor of Billboard magazine, and a veteran TV guest.

I became a certified high school teacher, which, despite current furloughs and salary and step freezes and a wide variety of annoyances, has meant that I can (barely) support myself for the first time in my life. I also began a meditation practice, which has helped me in every aspect of my life.

so tonight the decade ends--with no less than a blue full moon eclipse. and though I grieve the loss of all that has passed, I acknowledge that all things do pass, and I am grateful for all I have and for having lived.

and, oh yeah, I am grateful for henrietta, my 2000 honda civic, who, bless her engine, is NOT giving up the ghost with the decade.

happy new year.


Tricia Dower said...

I feel for you, Maryanne. The good the bad and the ugly. Here's hoping 2010 will bring the courage you need to continue your wonderful (and successful) journey. Happy New Year!

Ellen said...

What a year, eh? You've certainly endured more than your share, my friend. Personally, I'm thrilled to kick 2009 to the curb. Good riddance, motherfucker.

Here's to new beginnings and a bright, brilliant, beautiful and healthy 2010 for all of us!

Maryanne Stahl said...

I'll drink to that, sister!

Eric Bosse said...

I'm drinking to that, too!

That is, as soon as I can get my hands on the next drink.

robin andrea said...

Wow, that's quite a year, and really a decade. I know I don't know you, and I probably shouldn't offer advice, but hey, I'm not going to let that stop me. Don't give up your house. Rent out a room to a very reliable, good-natured, quiet, helpful person. Stay secure where you are until you can retire. I retired on a small (ridiculously small) pittance from the university, but it was worth every minute staying there to get it. Also, if you can get some kind of health insurance along with the pittance, it's another giant reason to stay.

Here's wishing you good health and much joy in the new year.

Rusty said...

Yow. I had no idea. 2010's got to be better.

Cheryl said...

Hey, Maryanne. I'm sorry to hear about all that has happened. Perhaps all of this is also suggestive of new beginnings and excitement (of the pleasant variety) for 2010. I'm thinking of you and wishing you better times ahead!