365 clean pages

January 03, 1991|By New York Times.

ONE NIGHT last week winter's first snow fell, and the city woke to a new world. Later in the day there'd be holes in the blanket, and urine stains and streaks of soot. But at dawn the world, hushed and unsullied, promised perfection.

So does a new year; 365 days lie ahead, each one a blank, beautiful page, with no way to know what will appear on them.

Still, we imagine the entries. Sometimes what we see is writ small. Ten pounds off, no more desserts, no more end-of-work martinis, more reading, less television, bills paid on time and bed by 11 o'clock.

Sometimes it's very big. Peace, plenty, prosperity. Miraculous cures for ailments that afflict the body and mind. Serenity. Wisdom. Whatever it is, it bespeaks hope.

Everyone's hopeful at the beginning of a new year. An optimist. ** A gambler. A fool, even. Here it comes, we wise, silly folk say. Another deal of the cards, another roll of the dice, another pull on the one-armed bandit. And this year, maybe, the jackpot.


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