A new year is an untouched expanse of snow, a freshly sharpened pencil, a blank page. It’s a reminder that our lives begin again and again. Yet in the very first minutes of the fledgling year, many of us will gather among friends and strangers and sing an old song that invites us to reflect on old friends, past loves, our complicated, meandering, fraught personal and collective histories.
With each passing year we ask again, “Should auld acquaintance be forgot and days of auld lang syne?” We answer ourselves by toasting the past even as we step into the future. It’s comforting to think that this is what we do and have been doing throughout human history—we carry our stories, we share them with each other over drinks and on blogs and in bars and in books. As Tom Spanbauer wrote in The Man Who Fell in Love with the Moon, one of the most beautiful and wise novels I’ve ever read, “What’s a human being without a story?”
So, my storytelling friends, I hereby raise a cup of kindness to all—and to another year full of stories.Should old acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind ? Should old acquaintance be forgot, and old lang syne ? CHORUS: For auld lang syne, my dear, for auld lang syne, we’ll take a cup of kindness yet, for auld lang syne. And surely you’ll buy your pint cup! and surely I’ll buy mine! And we’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet, for auld lang syne. CHORUS We two have run about the slopes, and picked the daisies fine; But we’ve wandered many a weary foot, since auld lang syne. CHORUS We two have paddled in the stream, from morning sun till dine; But seas between us broad have roared since auld lang syne. CHORUS And there’s a hand my trusty friend! And give us a hand o’ thine! And we’ll take a right good-will draught, for auld lang syne. For auld lang syne, my dear, for auld lang syne, we’ll take a cup of kindness yet, for auld lang syne.