Saturday, 31 December 2011

New Year Rulin's for 2012

Discussion of Woody Guthrie's 'New Year Rulin's for 1942' have been all over the internet this week with some inferring that Woody's inclusion of hygiene matters (3, 4, 5, 9, 11) as an indication that the Huntington's disease which killed him twenty-five years later, at the age of 55, was already at work.  Maybe that's so.  Maybe not.  Maybe he was just so busy spilling words onto paper (the Woody Guthrie Archives contain the lyrics to nearly 3000 songs) that some of life's more mundane tasks occasionally got forgotten.  

You can tell he's concerned about the way he's treated his family.  You can tell that, at the age of 30, he's thinking about his health - eat good, drink very scant if any - and about his spirit - don't get lonesome, stay glad, dream good, love, love, love - and about the need to take action and not waste time.  I see Woody's rulin's as a to do list, a way of taking small but meaningful steps to self improvement.  He's not making any grand promises here, but he is saying he's going to try to do better than he has done in the past.  Isn't that what we should all be doing?

Having given up making resolutions I know from the outset I won't be able to keep, I've taken inspiration from Woody's Rulin's, and drawn up a set of my own. 

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