A kind, peaceful and hopeful New Year to all of you.
In dealing with feelings and sentiments at a time like this, I find myself defining sentimentality as much as I seek to avoid it. It occurs to me that there are slushy songs that make us tremble for a moment with a tear in the offing. But even if we get as far as goosebumps we make mental reservations almost immediately, know that we are dealing with fantasy and allow ourselves a sad smile, before turning to more profound, original and truly helpful thoughts. It strikes me forcibly that somewhere over the rainbow the absence of blue birds prevail in a vacuum of horrors. And I am sorry, it is not and probably never has been a "wonderful world", wonderful as it would be if that were exclusively true. It is the lies that make sentimentality unacceptable.