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Envisioning 2020: Perspective and Poem

January 8, 2020



Envisioning 2020


by Alice Jane-Marie Massa



On this eighth day of the new year, I am finally writing a first post of 2020 because I wanted more people to have the opportunity to read my Christmas story of 2019 and because I had company over the New Year holiday.  Also, I convinced myself that my “Connecting the Christmas Dots” short story was appropriate for another special day–January 4, the 211th anniversary of the birth of Louis Braille (the inventor of braille).  Thinking of Louis Braille and his tactile alphabet at the onset of January is a grateful way for me to begin each new year.


For JEOPARDY! fans, this new year is kicking off in spectacular fashion with the one-hour, prime-time programs with the greatest of all time contestants James Holzhauer, Ken Jennings, and Brad Rutter (in alphabetical order).  While I have been and remain a super-fan of JEOPARDY! since its inception with first host Art Fleming, I realize that I am definitely past my prime in my ability to respond correctly and quickly enough in the form of a question.  With thoughts of Louis Braille’s birthday and my realizing that I have been in a JEOPARDY! decline ever since sometime in my early 60s, I decided to check the ages of these three most highly regarded competitors of my absolutely favorite game show.  Although I thought that Brad Rutter was the elder statesman, I was incorrect:  Ken Jennings is most senior with a birthdate of May 23, 1974.  Just shy of 42, Brad Rutter will celebrate his birthday on January 31.  Sharing a July birthday with host Alex Trebek (July 22, 1940), James Holzhauer was born on July 1, 1984.  On these cold January nights, I hope you are enjoying these special JEOPARDY! games as much as I.  These games are definitely my “Super Bowl”!


Pondering these landmark years, I do clearly recall being in fourth grade and marveling at writing “1960,” instead of a year with a “5” in the ten’s place.  In high school, when some students were reading the novel 1984, I could hardly imagine the calendar turning to such a distant year.  In the well-known year of 1984, when I turned almost the same age as “JEOPARDY! James” is currently, this outstanding competitor was born.  The next landmark year was 2000; however, leaving behind the writing of each year with the preliminary numerals “19” ended up being rather uneventful.  Now, the calendar has turned for all of us to the eye-catching year of 2020.  I do wonder what it will hold.  Well, of course, for me, another year has begun with massive, most unwanted construction.  How many times have I written that I am a magnet for construction?  Unfortunately, this year of 2020 is envisioning more construction challenges for my Leader Dog and me.


Thus, I need some inspiration for the onset of 2020.  For this new year, I have appropriately created a twenty-line acrostic, based on the phrase and poem’s title:  “Intricate Inspiration.”  (If you read each initial letter of the twenty lines of this poem, you will find the phrase “Intricate Inspiration” is spelled out.)  I hope that this acrostic will inspire you to create a wonderful 2020 for yourself and those around you.



Intricate Inspiration


acrostic poem by Alice Jane-Marie Massa



In a welcoming heart,

near–so near–a smiling soul,

through the very, very narrow veins,

running carefully, then swiftly–

inspiration comes like an expectant dawn:

curling like holiday ribbon–

annually, monthly, daily–

tendrils of inspiration blossom, are blessed,

even baptized with grammar, punctuation, and holy computer.


Intricate patterns of inspiration

nest within the tops of my PO-e-trees;

sachet the air with good wishes, wisdom, and rhyme;

point the way to the Land-of-Book-Dreams-Come-True.

Intricate, delicate, delightful inspiration–

rest comfortably upon my rolltop desk,

anoint me with your morning grace and energy,

treat me with your ever-present treasury of ideas,

itemize my strengths and prizes,

organize my corral of goals and gifts,

never, never leave me, Sweet Inspiration.



Best wishes for a 2020 filled with inspiration, imagination, and happy surprises!

Alice and Leader Dog Willow


January 8, 2020, Wednesday



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  1. Susan M McKendry permalink

    Alice–while I enjoyed your positive poem, I really felt like a kindred spirit (Anne of Green Gables is forever in a part of my brain) when I read your comments about the Jeopardy! tournament. We too consider it on a par with the Super Bowl and are so happy Alex Trebek could host it. Like you, I thought Brad Rutter was the oldest, so thanks for clearing that up and saving me some research. Regarding slower response time, we didn’t start watching Jeopardy regularly until 2005, but we do notice that some categories in regard to pop culture in all its forms are “Greek” to us. We do know many answers that stump very young contestants. On such occasions, Mr. Trebek sometimes comments along the lines of it “It was well before your time.” Thanks for sharing your time line.–Sue

    • Hi, Sue–How nice to have a comment from a fellow super-fan of JEOPARDY!!  Yes, having Alex Trebek as the host of this “Greatest of All Time” Tournament does make the special shows even more memorable and significant.  I do appreciate James’ pleasant laughter and his great sense of humor.  Thus far, the second show has seemed the best one to me.  We shall see what tomorrow evening brings.

          The construction to which I referred is pile-driving in the old Eduardo’s lot at the corner of Kilbourn and VanBuren.  The testing phase lasts for one more  day (a third day) before actual construction begins in May or June.  UGH!

      Cheers for JEOPARDY! and all of its fans!

      Take care–Alice and Willow

  2. Alice, when it comes to not responding correctly to Jeopardy questions, join the club. I haven’t watched it much on television, but I’ve tried it with Alexa. She’s given me six questions, and I’ve been lucky to get two right. Thank you for sharing your perspective and poem.

    • Hi, Abbie–Thanks for the “like” and comment.  I very rarely miss JEOPARDY! on television, but will have to try the Alexa version.

      Happy 2020–Alice and Willow

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