Elegy or Eulogy?

As we come to the end of another year, it only seems right to reflect back upon it and contemplate.  A debriefing, if you will.  What was good, what was bad, what could I have done better, and what can I do better next time?  But do I want to write an elegy, or a eulogy?

An elegy, of course, is a mournful and sad poem or song, lamenting the loss or passing of something or someone.  Sometimes my year felt like it deserved an elegy.  There were a lot of endings.  We left our home in Baltimore and said goodbye to a lot of friends.  I sang my last show with the Washington Opera Chorus, although I didn’t know it at the time.  I had my last good night’s sleep for probably another year or two.  We lost my Uncle Gordon.  I could definitely write an elegy for 2010.

But I could also write a eulogy.  A eulogy is like an elegy, but it’s not a song, it’s a speech or a piece of writing, and it’s not sad.  It is written in praise of a person or thing recently deceased or retired.  My first son was born in 2010.  I got my first opera contract with an “A” house.  We relocated back to Vermont, where my wife and I both grew up, and she found a job!  Heck, I even started this awesome blog.  There is a lot to celebrate.

I thought the question of whether to write an elegy or a eulogy would be answered by my mood at the time of the writing, but today I am feeling medium.  I’m a little ambivalent.  I feel like I can clearly see both the good and the bad of the past year, but more than anything, I am excited for the new one.  I feel like 2010 was a year of figuring out problems, and 2011 will be a year of solving them.  I am confident that Simone and I have laid the groundwork in 2010 for the progress we want to make in 2011, and I can’t wait!

So I will write neither an elegy nor a eulogy, but instead will look to the future this evening as the ball drops in Times Square and I kiss my wife, who will probably have passed out from exhaustion by then, due to fussy baby all last night.  I will not make resolutions, but goals.  I will learn from the past, live in the moment, and plan for the future.  And I will have fun.  So I say to you all, in every sense of the words, Happy New Year!

Posted in Uncategorized.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.