Friday, December 31, 2010

Guest Writer: The New Year as Transition

Thanks to Rob Drew for today's post.

Happy New Year!  We'll be giving and receiving this cheerful greeting the next few days without much thought, yet it is full of cultural and personal significance.  A million people will brave the cold in New York City to watch the glass ball descend into Times Square. Millions of others will watch on TV.  But why celebrate a moment, the transition from one numbered year to the next? 

As humans we are capable of experiencing time. We can look back on the past and forward to the future just as the two-headed Roman god Janus, for whom January is named. As we travel through time we have to leave some things or some people behind, perhaps by choice or perhaps not. The Old Year provides a place to do that, a symbolic resting place for old loves, former jobs, silly fads, passe' fashions, and our own bad habits. The New Year is fresh, alive, unknown and full of potential: new loves, better jobs, and resolutions for one or two new good habits. The stroke of midnight is the portal between past and future, a closing door on the past and an opening door into the future.

1 comment:

Carla Young said...

Thanks, Rob. Interesting that this symbolic passing of the year takes place at Time(s) Square. A synchronicity, perhaps?

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