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Weekly Features
Letter from New York
Mathew Tombers is the President of Intermat, Inc., a consulting practice that specializes in the intersection of media, technology and marketing. For two years, he produced the Emmys on the Web and supervised web related activities for the Academy, including for the 50th Anniversary year of the Emmy Awards. In addition to its consulting engagements, Intermat recently sold METEOR’S TALE, an unpublished novel by Michael O’Rourke, to Animal Planet for development as a television movie. Visit his web site at

Happy New Year

It is a quiet night upstate New York, where I am sequestered for the Holiday Season. Outside, about 15 inches of freshly fallen snow blankets the countryside and I spent part of the afternoon shoveling the car out and creating a path to the wood we stockpiled at the door when we heard a huge storm was on its way.

It's been a quiet day and a quiet week up here. The city seems far away and I am using the time to author a concluding document for one of my consulting engagements while working on generating some new ones and continuing work on others.

The year is very much winding down and most people that I know are generally delighted to see it gone. One friend phoned today and he will be relieved because the New Year promises resolution to a long and bitter divorce. Another friend is yearning for a new beginning, as each of the last two years she believed that it couldn't get worse but it did. Another friend is bravely facing the end of a long relationship and a job, thinking that the universe is speaking to her and there is a new path to follow.

It is at the end of the year that we take time to evaluate our lives, wish into the past those things which have hurt us and allow ourselves to hunger for things to bring us joy. It is a time for contemplation, for reflection and hope.

The fact that a major snow storm was barreling down on us escaped me because I wasn't checking the news on Christmas. I wanted the quiet, the Christmas Carols, the spirit of the season to surround me - and it did. In a quiet way that was not, at all, momentous but no less profound.

Going into this New Year, I know I am fortunate. I sit here, writing this column, which continues to give me joy, causing me to be disciplined in writing while giving me an opportunity to shape my thoughts and feelings into words with the hope and sense that someone out there is reading them.

I live with someone who loves me and who is constant in my life and who gave me thoughtful presents that he knew I would love and we gave each other things we could use together. He likes cosmos with shaved ice; I received an ice crusher after having failed to find one on several expeditions. He likes to fall asleep to a sound machine; I got him a better one for here in the country. And so on…

It is fortunate to be with someone who wants to give you what you want. I wish that for all of you this year. I wish for everyone to have quiet nights in front of your fires with fresh snow outside or whatever your equivalent is - a night camping under the stars, a moment listening to the person you love most breathe as they sleep while you lay beside him or her with a small smile on your face, savoring the peace and joy of the moment.

Many of my friends have had really difficult years.

One of my friends was going through a tough job patch and we were on the phone when her daughter walked in with that day's painting and as she looked at it, she said to me, "It doesn't get much better than this." Because "this" is what the real center of our lives is about, the people we live with and love.

So, sitting here by the fire with Billie Holiday singing, I savor this quiet time which is damn near perfect and I want, passionately, for all of us to have moments that are damn near perfect and have the good, great sense to stop and love them.

Happy New Year