Remember to forgive yourself, and to forgive others. It’s too easy to be outraged these days, so much harder to change things, to reach out, to understand.
Try to make your time matter: minutes and hours and days and weeks can blow away like dead leaves, with nothing to show but time you spent not quite ever doing things, or time you spent waiting to begin.
Meet new people and talk to them. Make new things and show them to people who might enjoy them.
Hug too much. Smile too much. And, when you can, love.” ~ Neil Gaiman
Every year I make a playlist. It works like this… throughout the year I pick songs I like that are new, or new to me, and I add them. I used to burn these off at the end of the year and give them away as gifts to friends, which meant that they couldn’t be more than 17-20ish tracks. “Here’s your 2016 playlist” kind of thing. They were always well received. I’ve actually been making playlists my whole life, from those early mixtapes recorded directly from the Casey Kasem top 40, to compilation tapes and finally, burned CDs. I am a huge music person. Always looking for that next new to me artist or song, new genres, new sounds, new.
In recent years I’ve moved into the streaming/digital age with full on gusto. I’m a big fan of Spotify and make playlists of various kinds there as the mood strikes. It’s also a great format for finding new music, sharing music with friends, and getting access to stuff I might not otherwise have access to or have found in other ways.
In that vein I started making my yearly playlists on Spotify instead of iTunes and because I don’t have the restriction of length so it would fit onto a CD, the playlists tend to be a bit longer. This year’s list, possibly because of COVID and how much I’ve been at home listening to music, finding music, etc., got a bit longer than I intended. I might normally try and trim it down, but since it’s digital, why?
So for friends and family who didn’t receive a disc this year, here it is. Anyone can listen, you just have to get a Spotify account. You can get one for free. Seriously, it rocks. I recommend listening on shuffle play, but that’s not a requirement. Listen however you want. That’s the beauty of music, right? It’s personal. So play on shuffle or not, skip songs you don’t like, replay songs you do. It’s up to you.
These are all songs I found in 2020. There really are no parameters here, other than it has to be “new to me” music. Could be from a completely new artist I found, or a hidden gem from a tried and true favorite. I dig the list this year. I hope you do too. Enjoy!
feel how your breathing makes more space around you. Let this darkness be a bell tower and you the bell. As you ring,
what batters you becomes your strength. Move back and forth into the change. What is it like, such intensity of pain? If the drink is bitter, turn yourself to wine.
In this uncontainable night, be the mystery at the crossroads of your senses, the meaning discovered there.
And if the world has ceased to hear you, say to the silent earth: I flow. To the rushing water, speak: I am.
Sonnets to Orpheus II, 29
Translated by Joanna Macy and Anita Barrows. From A Year with Rilke: Daily Readings From the Best of Rainer Maria Rilke (Harper Collins and Harper One, 2009). Posted by kind permission of Joanna Macy and Anita Barrows.