It’s the new year according to the calendar, and from all the well wishes and enthusiasm heard from the talking heads on the evening of the last day of the now old year, such sounds sound more desperately optimistic than hopeful. They are both good with one running more deeply as a stream run- ning rapidly to the sea — the other a veneer with a thinness to the raucous guffaws with a hint of urgency to singing auld lang syne. Can we get through the Advent candles and twelve days of Christmas, the nine candles of Hanukkah, the seven candles of Kwanzaa, the glowing lanterns of Ramadan all blazing without plunging to the darkness of the bottom of a now dead coral reef of life ex- tinguishing such faint light? Can we, with patient hope, live in the thin places between the physical and the spiritual — con- tent for now -- seeing, touching, tasting the appetizers of the eternity of it all? Time will tell. *with appreciation to James Pennington for his comments on "thin places."