Another year is ending. As time passes, I cling more to each minute. Recounting my favorites is an exercise that always presents a chance to highlight and pay homage to the light in my life. Here is a short capsule of what I relished in 2017:
Favorite Concert: I always make it a point to attend concerts and my musical taste isn’t necessarily wedded to one particular genre. This year I had the privilege of listening to U2, Imagine Dragons, and Tori Amos. My favorite concert this year was Tori. I attended a concert alone for the first time and immersed myself in her music. Her voice delivered crisp tones and the clarity of her sound was strong and empowering. It was my sixth Tori concert, but felt like my first.
Favorite Literary Pursuit and Posts: This year I spent much of the year focused on establishing The Sunlight Press, a literary journal I co-founded with my friend and colleague, Beth Burrell. I am quite proud of the poetry, fiction, nonfiction and photography that have found a home on our site.
In 2017, I also wrote for several outlets. Three of my favorite pieces in 2017 involved grief, politics, and food. In January, I published “Grieving Without a Grave,” a personal piece on the site, Headspace. In June of this year, my piece, “Trump Has Broken Every Presidential Norm. But Has He Done Anything Illegal?” debuted in DAME, a publication I’ve admired. In September of this year, I published, “Houston Gave Me Permission to be Indian in Public,” in SAVEUR.
Favorite Reads: I love those moments where my attention is dedicated to turning the pages of a book. As a story unfolds, my mind gravitates toward learning a particular character’s fate or the detailed description of a new place that becomes familiar with a writer’s choice of words or lyrical prose that creates a personal and emotional response. This is the power of a good piece of writing. My favorite book this year was Hourglass: Time, Memory and Marriage by Dani Shapiro.
Favorite New Music: On auto repeat this year: the soundtrack from the series, The Crown, and piano solos from Pandora.
Favorite Poem: Nayyirah Waheed’s poetry collection, “nejma,” is quiet, but bold. This poem resonated with me:
““do not choose the lesser life. do you hear me. do you hear me. choose the life that is. yours. the life that is seducing your lungs. that is dripping down your chin.”
Favorite Trip: It was a travel heavy year and I had several favorite trips. I visited New York City for a speaking appearance and traveled to Ojai in the summer. We also had a quick trip to Antelope Canyon, an unforgettable gem in the Southwest landscape. There were trips to Dallas/Houston where I met my new niece and nephew.
Favorite Movie: I didn’t see many movies this year, but of the films I did see, Wind River, made an impact. I love films that linger with me days later. This particular film revealed social injustice and the ravages of grief.
Many thanks to all of you for reading, commenting, sharing my work and supporting me in small and big ways. I look forward to spending more time with you in 2018.
What were some of your 2017 favorites?