one year ago (or close to), i began playing exclusively with an old-fashioned, wood-axle yo-yo made by spyy in calgary, canada.

this might not sound like a big deal, but as a pro yo-yo demonstrator, it's meant shunning hundreds of yo-yo's in my collection, most of which spin much longer and snap back much less readily than this more archaic model. fortunately, steve buffel threw his heart and soul into the process of making me the best wooden yo-yo possible, and while stretches have been tough, most of the year has been a joyful blur.

i don't know what i was looking for in this challenge, beyond a better sense for how and why i play yo-yo, and i'm even less certain of what i've found. i'm surprised to realize the relationship i've developed with this one yo-yo. on a tactile level, it's hard for me to remember how others feel flying through the air (i'm sure it won't take long for me to remember some 1/1/13). it's pretty awesome that by now, i've spent far more time throwing this yo-yo than any other. i've soaked it with sweat (and a little blood), and it's generously given me a few splinters, but on the whole, i'd say we understand each other pretty well.

i'm coming up on the end, and i thought i'd take some time playing under the trees to contemplate how i feel about the journey. please forgive the cheesy-flakiness of my sentiments; as a cheesy flake, i'm afraid there's not much alternative. the song is "l'estasi dell'oro" by ennio morricone and performed by [major pun, wait for it...] yo-yo ma.

major thanks go out to steve, without whom the idea behind this year would have died as an unfulfilled embryo, and also to colin leland of tmbr toys, who is helping us share it on a broader scale. thanks also to all of the players who insist on playing wood, either for reasons as clear and day or just because it somehow 'feels right'.

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