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select a month a year of stories - goodbye 2001 - by derek powazek

Two-thousand and one. Say it out loud and let your mind wander. A year ago you might have thought of Kubrick. Spaceships. The future.

These days the phrase conjures up world-weary images. Bombs and bullets. Recession and unemployment. The three-block hole in New York City where two buildings and thousands of lives should be.

But in spite of the hardships of 2001, normal people led normal lives, just like every year. They got married, had anniversaries, lived life, and found joy wherever they could.

In the next few pages you'll read 12 stories from 12 authors about 2001. I asked them each to tell a story from a month that somehow represented the year for them. Their stories fall all over the spectrum from hope to despair. From home and away, they redefined normal, changed priorities, made choices, and found resolve.

These stories paint a complicated, truthful, intimate portrait of 2001. And, of course, you're invited to add your story to the mix, too.

So 2001 wasn't all about rocket cars and intelligent computers. It wasn't all about bad news headlines, either. In the end, it was just another year, full of promise, hard as nails. We made the most of it, like we always do.

Here's to making the most of 2002.

How was your 2001?