In the past, but increasingly less extensively, I would sum up each year that had been, since this blog began.

This year, I paused, to reflect on what has meant the most to me. I set aside all anger, hate, hostility, cruelty, war and division in our world - there is too much of it, as we mostly all recognise; like many of us, I was saddened at particular deaths, lapses, losses - sometimes this year felt almost too much to bear. Escape - into an unreality, beckons more to us all, as the disposable, instant worlds of the digital realities, infused with fiction, play, lies and propaganda - is one way to cope.

There is another, the more needle-sharp poignancy of trying to face, directly, the best in us, and sharpen our own lives, to their better edges. A struggle, to be sure. Like all humans, I strive to not succumb to my dark side, to my despair. The light is a two-edged weapon. Duality demands we decide, finally, what side we will come down on, who, and how, we will love.

So I won't waste much more of your precious reading time with news about my year - except to write that the best of it - the part that has true value and will remain within me, resonating to the heart - was the time spent with good friends, and family - visiting, seeing plays, listening to music, walking, talking, dining, together. Being good to each other - establishing a hearth, when all beyond is maybe bleak.

I await the spring, in our spirits, in our age, in our histories. For now, I wish you the best possible way forward as the winter solstice approaches, and a new decade. There is goodness and kindness out there, and within. May that be the gift you both give and receive at this year's annual summit, the height of the Christmas pageant, the moment when the pagan and the divine fuse, in one blazing moment of joy - the day when even the guns can fall silent, when enemies embrace, and great kings once kneeled, distantly, under excited stars, to the most humble of rulers, a mere baby, a merely perfect path we may choose to take, amidst the blizzard of the world.

Merry Christmas to all, and a Happy New Year.