01 January 2012

New Years 2012

I keep trying to write about News Year’s Day and nothing comes to mind. Which is also to say that for me there is nothing of interest about this day. Yesterday possessed the marker 2011 and this morning the marker is 2012. What has changed? The hands of the clock. What will change? How could anyone know anything about what will be but that at the same time next year the markers will change again and 2012 will become 2013. As Estragon says in Waiting for Godot, Let’s go,” but the stage directions report, “They do not move.”
Of course, New Years is a symbolic marker, hence the focus on ‘new years resolutions,” commitments to change life patterns in the coming months. Interesting that behind these commitments lie only the New Years event and no change of character. That is meant to occur in the coming year with the enactment of resolutions, but I wonder if change was really sought, why need it be initiated on this day and not another earlier one?
One of the first things the Israelites did when they left Egypt as slaves is to invent for themselves a calendar. Only free people can organize their own time. And so New Years marks a new beginning. The image of the new year is a baby in diapers: an entirely new and fresh life lies ahead. But for none of us can the year start fresh. In all of our refrigerators is the left over foods from last evening’s celebrations; in our closets hang all of our clothes and in our living rooms sit the same comfy or uncomfy chairs. Nothing changes but the markers. The Israelites never ceased complaining during their desert wanderings. And we move into the New Year with the egos of yesterday. Where are the snows of yesteryear? They are here, right here now. 
What makes for the fulfillment of resolutions? Character and not calendar. Perhaps New Years celebrations forget that, and perhaps this accounts for the quiet of the coffee house this morning. Everyone is either enacting their resolutions or forgetting them with the advent of the new day.
Another cliché.


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