We Leap into The New Year (With Yoko Ono, Mary Oliver, Muybridge, More)

As always, we are taking the week between Christmas and New Year’s off. It’s a time to slow way down and reflect on the year that’s passed so quickly, and on the new one we are about to begin. Here’s a few of the things we look at and think about.

Google’s video, Year in Searches, gives us an overview of what the world community searched for in 2016, which is in essence, a recap of the extraordinary year. (Video link here.)

Kottke has rounded up ten or so links of Most Powerful Photos/The Year in Pictures of 2016. They are well worth checking out for a visual understanding of our very complex and tender world. Jonathan Bachman’s image of Leshia Evans protesting the death of Alton Sterling by the Baton Rouge police shows her remarkable, total, defiance of fear.

Jonathan Bachman

Jonathan Bachman

We enjoy reading The Lives They Lived, the New York Times’ tributes to extraordinary people — many little known— we lost in the past year. It reminds us of how every unique/surprising/creative/complex human beings can be. We particularly love MIT graduate, last-of-the-moon-landing-astronauts Edgar Mitchell’s epiphany on the flight back from the moon, as he watched the earth, moon and sun passing the window in two-minute intervals.

It was a subjective visceral experience accompanied by ecstasy. I realized that the molecules of my body and the molecules of the spacecraft had been manufactured in an ancient generation of stars…




We also turn to poetry and art…

We’re thinking about some of the big questions Yoko Ono asks in her tiny potent book Acorn

Tell us if there is any story that helped your survive.

Tell us what your story is in staying where you are now in your life.

Yoko Ono Acorn question


…and Mary Oliver’s Fall Song*

Another year gone, leaving everywhere
its rich spiced residues: vines, leaves,

the uneaten fruits crumbling damply
in the shadows, unmattering back

from the particular island
of this summer, this NOW, that now is nowhere

except underfoot, moldering
in that black subterranean castle

of unobservable mysteries – roots and sealed seeds
and the wanderings of water. This

I try to remember when time’s measure
painfully chafes, for instance when autumn

flares out at the last, boisterous and like us longing
to stay – how everything lives, shifting

from one bright vision to another, forever
in these momentary pastures.


We are wishing you a wondrous New Year, full of leaps…

Edward Muybridge

Edward Muybridge

We will be back in the New Year…


Mary Oliver poem from American Primitive.

2 Responses to We Leap into The New Year (With Yoko Ono, Mary Oliver, Muybridge, More)

  1. Cydney 12.25.2016 at 10:16pm #

    Improvised Life is a blessing, an inspiration and a delight in my mailbox. I so appreciate the way you shift the focus toward simplicity, optimism and gratitude. Thank you, Sally and Mira. Wishing you both a happy, healthy new year!

  2. Sally Schneider 12.25.2016 at 10:18pm #

    What a lovely gift to receive. Thank YOU! (:

Leave A Comment

subscribing = loving

If the Improvised Life is a source of creativity, inspiration, ideas and change in your daily life, please consider becoming a Friend with Benefits. A little bit goes a long way towards helping us publish fresh AD-FREE content each day.