happy blue year!

“There’s a certain time of day after sunset when people naturally seem to feel the urge to gather by a fire or a stove or a hibachi or another common source of heat and food, and hunker down together to eat and drink. Call it the blue hour.” ~ Kate Christensen

 🎵 Blue on blue, heartache on heartache . . . 🎶

Remember that song? It comes to mind whenever I think about 2017 . . .

But now it’s 2018 — Happy New Year, Friends!

We’ve turned the page, so it’s time to shift our thinking.

BLUE IS GOOD!

In fact, it’s so good, I chose to make THINK BLUE my motto for 2018. 🙂

Last year my One Little Word was TRUTH. Poor Truth was tested, dragged through the mud, disguised, distorted, ignored, disregarded. Is that any way to treat one of the bedrocks of a civilized society? I think not.

I will always champion Truth, because no matter what you do to her, she prevails. She will always find a way to make herself known.

Since Truth is having an especially tough time right now, I wanted to support her with Two Little Words. I chose THINK BLUE after reading this poem:

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HIS FAVORITE BLUE CUP
by Stephen Dobyns

Over the years — and Heart has had many years —
numerous objects have slipped from his possession,
some were lost, some fell apart, some got stolen.
That cowboy doll he loved as a child,
does a piece of it still remain? And the pen
he’s been looking for all week, where does it hide?
His favorite blue cup which the dog broke,
the green linen shirt that at last wore out,
the Chevy convertible that wound up in the junk yard —
Heart has come to think that all these objects are together
along with absent friends, departed family members
and pets that traveled over to the great beyond.
Somewhere, he believes, there’s a place made up
of previous houses, former gardens and furnished
with the vanished furniture his hands have touched.
There missing friends recline on once-loved chairs.
A cat gone for twenty years naps beneath a burning lamp.
Lost clothes fill the closets, lost books line the shelves.
The trees in front, cars in back: Heart would know them all.
These days Heart’s mind sometimes wanders.
He’s in a daze, he’s drifted off or gathering wool,
and he thinks at such times he, too, has disappeared,
that he’s rambling through his composite house,
sipping coffee from his blue cup, tossing a ball
for a mutt he owned when he was six or walking
arm and arm with a friend not seen for years.
You look pale, the friend says, you’ve gotten thinner.
I’ve been away, says Heart, I’ve been away.

~ from Poetry Magazine, 1999

via Nikolina Mazar

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This poem made me think about some of my favorite childhood possessions: the big Ruthy doll I got one Christmas, the shiny royal blue pencil case I carried to school every day, my Golden Books collection, my Barbies. I wish I still had those things now. Once a collector, always a collector. 🙂

And I would love to be able to revisit some of the places I used to live and find them exactly the same, or see people I’ve lost just one more time. Maybe I’m yearning for a simpler, gentler world when I knew which way was up. Maybe I’m searching for the America I once believed in.

When we lose sight of what really matters, Heart reminds us. We can find our way back by practicing tolerance, compassion, empathy, kindness, and caring — drinking from the common blue cup of humanity.

My heart was broken after the 2016 presidential election and hung out to dry during 2017. THINK BLUE will help me pick up the pieces. The only way I can reconcile the fact that millions of people actually voted for “he who must not be named,” is to think that maybe their hearts were away at the time. Somewhere, there’s a place where all their lost ideals can be found, where they can readopt the values they profess to uphold (love not hate, the golden rule, all men and women are created equal). Maybe Heart will help them lose their hypocrisy and regain their common sense.

Hearts make us human. Hearts are color blind. Hearts are true blue.

So, this year, I’m taking one day at a time,

 

rereading some of my favorite books (for comfort and reassurance),

 

checking out some new ones (for fresh inspiration),

 

feasting on poetry (to stay in tune with Heart),

 

embracing my favorite artists (to marvel and admire),

Emily Sutton

Maira Kalman

 

 

inviting some of my cool friends to tea,

and gazing into their blue eyes —

 

and above all, doing what I can to help

MAKE CONGRESS BLUE AGAIN!

 

Let’s all have a better year.

Don’t lose HOPE.

Just take it one step at a time.

Maira Kalman

 

Focus on the good.

 

Whatever makes you happy!

“Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.” (1 Corinthians 13:7-8)

 

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Kay is hosting the Roundup at A Journey Through the Pages. Sail over and check out the full menu of poetic goodness being shared in the blogosphere this week.


Copyright © 2018 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

58 thoughts on “happy blue year!

  1. What a great blog. As the ghost of Christmas Past says in Dicken’s A Christmas Carol, and I paraphrase, “Truth lives”. I love your little pile of books! I read Mare’s War, and loved it. I want to try little Woman in Blue, Meg’s story. Have to put it on hold at the library! Thanks, and happy “blue” 2018,

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Happy Blue Year, Joanne! Yes yes yes — truth lives! You will enjoy Little Woman in Blue. Everything Jeannine writes about strong women is beautiful, powerful and inspiring. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Bridget!! Yay for blue cups and toasts! I do think it’s time women took over the running of this country. Here’s to more female elected officials!

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  2. LOVE LOVE LOVE this post, Jama…it makes me happy in a stressful time, and there is so much truth in it. My word for this year is “trust” and your post gives my word strength. Happy New Blue Year (and Happy Blue Moon too…January 31st!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Trust and Truth definitely go hand in hand. We are on the same wavelength, Sharon. Thanks for the heads up about the Blue Moon. Have a great year! 🙂

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  3. Sitting here with my “blue” cup, really! And wishing last year was not “true”, but it was and step by step we will keep on doing what is right and shouting out to those who do not that they must change. Beautiful start to 2018, Jama. I think you might love a favorite picture book, titled “Blue on Blue”, by Diane White, illustrated by Beth Krommes. Happiest of New Years to you!

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    1. Yay, another blue cup person! And you have blue eyes, right? Times are tough, but it makes a world of difference knowing others are on the side of “right” and will not give up the fight to restore balance and normalcy to this country. Thanks for the PB recommendation. I love Beth’s work, and don’t know why I missed this one. Will look for it!

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  4. I love “His Favorite Blue Cup,” and your blue teacup on your stack of books! I’m sorry about all of the heartbreak since Nov 2016…I’m ready for Decency to have its big blue comeback! (Colin Firth looks like a baby in that second photo. Where is it from?)

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    1. Who’d have ever thought we’d be desperate for some common decency? It’s usually a given regarding the highest office of the land.

      Glad you like my blue teacup (Blue Calico by Burleigh). I don’t know which film that photo comes from. He was so young and definitely looks extra handsome in blue. 🙂

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    2. Tabatha, I was trying to think of a sign to bring to the march tomorrow and your comment on Decency has inspired me. My sign will read. Decency–It’s Time!

      Or something along that line.

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  5. What a wonderful post to start the year. Thank you. This poem made me a bit weepy, maybe because I’ve been packing to move into a smaller house and had to let go of a lot of items. This poem makes me feel better knowing they will be somewhere else living a happy, purposeful existence without me:) Happy Blue Year to All!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know how you feel, Suzanne. It’s hard to part with certain things. I’m dreading having to downsize — instead of paring down, I seem to be acquiring more things. I hope you’re taking digital photos of the items you have to give away but want to remember. Happy Blue Year to you, too!

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  6. Jama, you always lift my spirits. I am thinking about my poster for the Women’s March in Chicago on Saturday and I think it is going to be BLUE! Thanks for the inspiration.

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  7. Sis, thank you for your beautifully stated optimism and your continued faith in humanity. Sometimes we are seriously challenged, but we persist! Happy Blue Year!

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    1. This is one of the most serious challenges our country has EVER faced. We sorely lack moral leadership. It’s devastating seeing an entire political party collapsing (even though I’ve always been an independent voter and usually lean left), and our democracy being gradually dismantled. Heartbreaking stuff, but we can’t lose faith in humanity no matter what.

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  8. When you chose a theme, you choose big. I loved seeing all these lovely shades of blue, and of course am touched to see some of my books among your blue collections. I’ve had no input on covers, but have always been pleased that many seem to draw blue toward them. Alabama gave me hope last year, and there are lots of signs toward a blue-er 2018 with more diverse leaders and more heart. Yours is such a beautiful one.

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    1. You are my favorite “woman in blue.” Who else writes so beautifully about strong girls and women? Alabama also gave me hope, as did the election of the new VA governor. It’s good to see more diversity among those seeking office, and the engaged Millennials are also a good thing.

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  9. Such a beautiful, uplifting post. I have to keep reminding myself to stay hopeful, that good will ultimately prevail (despite all evidence to the contrary). I’m counting on Robert Mueller and a blue wave come November! ❤

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  10. Yes, it has been a rough year. & Hawaii began the new year with a nasty shake up! No wonder, as I look in my closet, there is a lot of blue.
    For more soothing blues see Blue and White Tokyo, a blog that celebrates the natural blues of Japan. Take good care!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy Blue Year, Li! That false alert must have been terrifying for all of you. I will check out the Blue and White Tokyo blog, thanks!

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  11. Such a beautiful post! I needed to hear and see this, every bit of it. Linda made me think about blue picture books, and here are four for you: A Blue So Blue by Jean-Francois Dumont, Blueberry Girl by Neil Gaiman, I Want to Paint My Bathroom Blue by Ruth Krauss, and especially Yesterday I Had the Blues by Jeron Ashford Frame (which I have used as a poetry template/prompt for kids). Also a green book because it’s so hopeful: The Whole Green World by Tony Johnston.

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    1. Thanks for the blue book recs, Kate! I’m only familiar with the Gaiman book, so it’ll be a real treat to check out the others. Of course you failed to mention one of my favorite blue books: Water Sings Blue :).

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  12. Women should take office. Women should insist on safe workplaces. Dreamers and other immigrants should be able to feel safe. Finally. I know how much anxiety I feel. How much worse is it for people who are under attack like the Haitians? Makes me grind my teeth. As if caring about others were a weakness. We’re snowflakes for wanting our country to be a principled place. Grrr. I like that you’ve found a bluing for washing out the stains. I marvel and admire your post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “Bluing for washing out the stains” = yes, wonderful analogy, Brenda! Agree with everything you said — men have messed up badly, women need to take charge. I become very indignant when people name-call — esp. “libtards” and “snowflakes.” If they’d only stop to think, they probably want the same things we do. We all tend to live in bubbles of our own making, but tunnel vision and willful ignorance are different things entirely.

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  13. (Why do so many of my comments on your posts get typed through glassy, blurry eyes?!)
    Thank you, Jama, for not giving up, and for continue to fuel our HEARTS and minds with what is true and beautiful. (Loved seeing Jeannine’s books in that cozy blue stack, and adorable Princess Charlotte in her smocked floral frock!)
    Today I’m featuring TRAVELING THE BLUE ROAD – Poems of the Sea! :0)

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  14. Thank you for your wonderful thoughts, Jama–just what I needed to pick me up this morning. The idea of revisiting places & finding things as they were makes me yearn for that “simpler, gentler world when I knew which way was up,” too. I especially needed the reminder to focus on the good, & I love the idea of people finding their lost ideals again. May this be the year!

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    1. Happy Blue Year, JoAnn. I have hope upon hope that people who have lost their way will come around. There’s a lot of noise, misinformation and distractions to sift through. We all have to work harder to mine the truth and amplify it. Important step in eradicating hate, fear, and ignorance.

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  15. I like your attitude! Here’s one of my favorite poems, Jama. It has some blue in it.

    Balls
    by Amy Lowell

    Throw the blue ball above the little twigs of the tree-tops,
    And cast the yellow ball straight at the buzzing stars.

    All our life is a flinging of colored balls
    to impossible distances.
    And in the end what have we?
    A tired arm–a tip-tilted nose.

    Ah! Well! Give me the purple one.
    Wouldn’t it be a fine thing if I could make it stick
    On top of the Methodist steeple?

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  16. Happy Blue Year, Jama! Who would ever have thought we would need “Truth, Justice, Decency” as a tagline in 2018? I love every bit of this post. Blue is one of my favorite colors, too. I have many blue and white pitchers and teapots, which I can’t seem to stop collecting. I will carry your wise words with me throughout the year: “Hearts make us human. Hearts are color blind. Hearts are true blue.” BTW, I was swooning over young Colin Firth myself and had to discover what movie I’d missed. A quick search of IMDB revealed the source: “Camille,” a 1984 TV movie that you can watch online. Enjoy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, swooning over your comment — love that you collect blue and white pitchers and teapots (hope you share some on your blog sometime this year). And thanks for your sleuthing! I hadn’t heard of “Camille” but now will make a point of seeing it. Young Colin in that fine blue suit — I must brace myself. 😀

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  17. Such and inspiring post with much too feast on and to savor. I will be thinking blue along with you through this year, and I am hopeful that enough of the world will regain its senses if all our hearts remember love and compassion and kindness and justice and truth. I saw lots of signs of blue at today’s Women’s March.

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  18. Yes! Happy Blue Year to you, Jama!! 2016 nearly killed me. I’m certain that my body feel apart due to all the stress and anguish from the previous fall. I know I’m not alone either. I’ve been working on healing and changing my mind set and lifestyle since then, and I finally feel stronger and have hope in my heart. There’s still a ways to go, but I’m optimistic about 2018, and I know it will be better than 2017…! Wishing you the best. Ox

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The election and new “administration” has certainly taken its toll on all of us in countless ways, not the least of which is health issues exacerbated by the enormous stress. The initial shock was a huge blow and it’s taken awhile to get over that . . . now to move forward with the work that has to be done. Glad you’re feeling more optimistic and hopeful. 🙂

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    1. Thanks for the blue on blue waving, Wendy, Love it!! Courage and delight are wonderful words — hope you have a good year, one that is productive, adventurous, surprising and delicious!

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  19. What a fabulous true-blue post in all it’s gorgeous colors–cobalt, cerulean, ultramarine. I like the idea of wearing a lot of blue this year! We’ve got a lot to do: save heart, lot’s of voting and keeping positive! Lovely blue heart too Jama–there many of us out here that do care and are aiming to bring blue back to it’s rightful place. I saw this in the Women’s March Chicago this weekend, we’re rolling out the”blue wave” and will keep it going!

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    1. Yes to the blue wave rolling in!!! I love those names for different kinds of blue (so poetic!). We definitely have lots to do to bring the blue back, as deep as the ocean, as wide as the sky. 🙂

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  20. Happy Blue Year, Jama, and thanks for your beautiful post. I also felt “hung out to dry” last year but am hopeful for a blue wave in November. Now if I could just get rid of my tendinitis so that I can march! And BTW, my favorite teacups are blue (Spode Tower), filled with Yorkshire Gold. 🙂

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    1. Happy Blue Year to you too, Karen! The blue wave in November is going to be huge. Hooray for blue Spode Tower teacups (I’ve been admiring the blue china you use on your blog)! And I also love Yorkshire Gold tea (a current fave in addition to Darjeeling).

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  21. That poem is a stunner. I love to imagine that place, filled with all my missing things and people. Ruth, thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com

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