I once met a guy in Austin, Texas whose name was Angel. He was probably about 25, skinny, Hispanic. He had tattoos covering most of his body, all the way up to his neck. Across both his hands, one letter on each finger, he had tattooed ‘ITAINTEZ’. I think about that tattoo often. I wonder what must have prompted him to get it. I think, of all the things you could have written permanently on your fingers, that is a good choice.

It’s reaching the end of the year, the end of 2018. One word – ‘joy’ – appears in my head. Not because it’s here right now, although it sometimes is, but because it’s something we need. Al keeps reminding me of this, and it’s true every time. We need to cultivate it, express it, infuse it like a teabag in our chests. It’s surprisingly easy to go down, to go inwards, to turn away. It’s difficult to turn outwards, to express pain as well as lightness.

I wish joy for everyone in 2019, though I know that’s a tall order. At least, I wish for people to attempt to cultivate it, to open a little to it, to lean into it. I will try to do the same.