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  • Writer's pictureDean De Benedictis

Another Letter--A Positive One, New Years 2020

Updated: Feb 12, 2023

I’ve had some notable moments over the last year, and decade, so I’m going to take inventory and muse a little. Finally broadcasting live electronic music from the top of Mt. Hood was a pretty big one that I might seek more exposure for,  definitely. But in addition to that, this year has been a pretty enigmatic ride for me, an extremely notable one.

I worked harder than I've ever worked before, made some artistic breakthroughs, lived lifestyles I had never lived, experienced tragic loss, overcame decade-long fears, and met and reunited with amazing people who have clearly blessed my life. Some of these folks are still there, in my life, and some are not. For the ones who are not, now is my moment to acknowledge this more than any other time of year. I plead the lyrics to Auld Lang Syne again (lol) as funny as that sounds it’s serious. I think good people do always think about past relationships, naturally. They aren’t afraid to. So please don’t ever think of yourself as “slipping” or “too negative” whenever your mind goes there... when you remember past friendships/relationships. I mean sure, avoiding traumatic experiences and those who are related is probably always best, but otherwise, I think there’s way too much forgetting going on.

These are people, like you, just as eternal as you are, and they were a part of your life, even if briefly. That’s your past man, not someone else’s. You should own it, and take inventory, and relive it sometimes. The present is stupendous yes, but not at the expense of the natural experience and privilege of reliving one’s life during appropriate moments. Flashback sometimes. Wince through cringe-worthy stuff and laugh through humbling stuff and cry through whatever and cheer through whatever. It’s all there and it’s all good man. I do this sometimes, and its rewards never cease to surprise me. A moment like this at the end of the year is when I think about the people who chose not to know me anymore, and the people I chose not to know myself, and I always try to acknowledge things I could’ve done better—with all of them. This is a gift we are supposed to give ourselves, if at no other time then the end of the year. It’s a way of checking yourself, and everyone else, and even god if you believe in that sort of thing. Remembering these folks is only one of the reasons why I will always love them, all of them, even the few who have somehow left an enemy-like feeling in their wake. I will always love them somehow, and they will always serve as a testament to who I was, just like everything else in my life.

And sure, sometimes we just grow and shed people like old clothes. Fine, but that still doesn’t change the other truth of everything I’m saying... that these folks are also eternal to you and are often all worthy of reflection. It is two truths, a duality, as with all things... people are both eternal and transient, at the same time, as with all other objects in the universe. So yes please try not to sing that song like a robot anymore. Those lyrics have a lot of weight. Auld Lang Syne may seem like merely an extremely annoying melody that we’re all tired of but sing for the corny ritual of trying to be happy in a counted down moment of blank minds and smiles and hugs lol. But it’s really not that man.

These holidays mean nothing to anything else but us. The earth doesn’t give a crap about them and neither does any other life form on it. Don’t believe all of that fairyland postcard tripe (lol). There’s no “shift in the energy of the cosmos” when the clock strikes midnight, other than how much we scream our heads off at that hour. These holidays are markers for us alone, the human race. Don’t neglect that marker, or your life. Take inventory of people as much as you take inventory of experiences. It isn’t anyone else’s responsibility but yours.

In a certain way, to care ever is to care forever. If you cared about something or someone, anyone or anything, at any point, then no matter how much those things betrayed you, they will forever be a testament to your essence and your character. Like it or not, they will always be a part of you and visa versa. Again, sometimes surviving trauma means completely forgetting, sure, but almost everything else should be in your mind sometimes. Whether or not you ever see certain of these people again, or repeat any of your experiences, here’s to all of them, the people and the experiences. Here’s to the gift of possessing a body and a mind that allows you to both regret and be grateful and everything in between. Here is to all of our unknowable moments lived and shared. Together. Apart. How truly unknowable.


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