Snow-covered trees, Devil's Lake State Park, Wisconsin.  Photo by Callen Harty.

Snow-covered trees, Devil’s Lake State Park, Wisconsin. Photo by Callen Harty.

After suffering a life-threatening heart attack just over four years ago I feel like every year on this earth is a gift. Then again, every year that I’ve ever lived has been a gift. Every day is a gift.

I cannot wander through the woods without wonder. When I see flowers blooming in the spring, snow stuck upon the limbs of trees in winter, stars dripping in the night sky in any season I know that I am part of an incredible cosmic all, and each day in which I am part of the entirety of the universe is a miracle.

In the vastness of all there is in the universe and beyond any one day is as meaningful as any other. The turning of an arbitrary calendar is not the turning of the galaxy. My resolutions from last year are as important today as they are tomorrow. Yes, there are things I want to change, and I will work toward those ends, but when my soul departs my body what will matter is how much I loved and the positive energy I left behind. Yes, I have specific goals that I want to accomplish, but the resolutions that are most important are those that are timeless. I do not need the passage of time to know that I must love more, care for myself and others more, or be at peace and more fully a part of this wondrous existence.

Is there more meaning in those things in the year that starts tomorrow than there is in the day in which I currently find myself? I think not. I have one resolution, for each day and in any year, and that is to be one–one fully with myself, one in peace, love, and fellowship with my fellow travellers on this planet, one with the universe, and one with all. The closer I can get to that the closer I come to the fulfillment of all my other goals and dreams.

About Callen Harty

Originally from Shullsburg, Wisconsin Callen Harty is the author of four books and numerous published essays, poems, and articles. His most recent book is The Stronger Pull, a memoir about coming out in a small town in Wisconsin. His first book was My Queer Life, a compilation of over 30 years worth of writing on living life as a queer man. It includes essays, poems, speeches, monologues, and more. Empty Playground: A Survivor's Story, is a memoir about surviving childhood sex abuse. His play, Invisible Boy, is a narrative with poetic elements and is also an autobiographical look as surviving child sex abuse. All are available on (and three of them on Kindle) or can be ordered through local bookstores, He has written almost two dozen plays and 50 monologues that have been produced. Most of them have been produced at Broom Street Theater in Madison, Wisconsin where he started as an actor, writer, and director in 1983. He served as the Artistic Director of the theater from 2005-2010. Monologues he wrote for the Wisconsin Veterans’ Museum won him awards from the Wisconsin Historical Society and the American Association of State and Local History. He has also had essays, poems, and articles published in newspapers and magazines around the country and has taken the top prize in several photo contests. His writing has appeared in Out!, James White Review, Scott Stamp Monthly, Wisconsin State Journal, and elsewhere. He has had several essays published online for Forward Seeking, Life After Hate, and The Progressive. Callen has also been a community activist for many years. He was the co-founder of Young People Caring, UW-Madison’s 10% Society, and Proud Theater. He served as the first President of Young People Caring and as the Artistic Director for Proud Theater for its first five years. He is still an adult mentor for the group. In 2003 he won OutReach’s Man of the Year award for his queer community activism. OutReach is Madison, Wisconsin’s lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender community center. He also won a Community Shares of Wisconsin Backyard Hero award for his sex abuse survivor activism work. He has been invited to speak before many community groups, at a roundtable on queer community theater in New York City, and has emceed several events. In 2016, Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault named him their annual Courage Award winner for his activism, writing, and speaking on sexual assault.
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