Like many of my fellow human beings, I possess this irrational tendency to project a tempered sense of hope in response to the emergence of a new year. I often awake the first morning of the year with a brief experience of tabula rasa, of starting fresh and thinking the whole world should follow suit as well.
It doesn't take long of course before I catch the next evening news cast and experience the deflating "same shit, different year" perspective in response to some atrocity or another. I often try to avoid the news for a few days following a new year, as such ignorance is indeed bliss, at least for a while.
Of course to think that we can somehow start fresh, disconnected from our own personal nature or human history because of some arbitrary form of time measurement is completely strange and nonsensical on many levels.
I know that on a collective and individual basis, we remain who we are, rooted in the mire of the human condition, which is of course rife with suffering and a stunning lack of imagination at times. The turning of one day, month, year, or decade can't divorce us from this reality.
However misplaced it might be, there is something defiantly beautiful in the act of waking up and thinking for a moment that something, however small, could be different in the coming year. Perhaps it is like some gambler's fallacy deeply rooted in our psyche, allowing us to believe that the odds will eventually work in our favour. Regardless, it is a powerful and necessary force.
In many ways, an unfilled calendar page is a sacred symbol, one that propels us forward with great hope. There is something magical in that brief pause at the start of a new year, before the pages are filled or the script is fully written. We finally untether our imagination and allow it to take flight for a while. The possibilities are intoxicating.
A good way to start any day, really.
(flickr link for photo here)