On Monday I sheet-composted a rocky and shallow part of the garden, laid down newspapers to kill the weeds and spread old bedding from the duck pen on top. There is something deeply satisfying about heaping shit onto last week’s (now last year’s) news. A new dictator in North Korea? Shit on him. Elizabeth Dole endorses Mitt Romney? Shit on them both. Unemployment, debt, foreclosures, indefinite detentions? Pile it on! It’s old news. Most days the newspaper isn’t good for much, but it makes good drop cloths and weed barriers, and if politicians’ faces can crumble into next spring’s carrots, then they’re good for something too. Twenty-eleven is old news now as well, a year that seemed for me to brim over with crap, but amazingly fertile crap, as it all is, or ought to be. Old truths and new ideas spring from disillusionment. A finished book grows from the compost of a lost job. Bury last year deep, sheet compost the old bastard and baptize the new with mud. And a happy new year to us all.