If the Earth did not have this weird tilt in its axis, we could have been very different species. But it does, so we have seasons, which force us to live within specific cycles. It also spins, which not all planets do, and gives us day and night. The time is given to us as a predictable and inevitable change. We even add to that by creating an arbitrary date in the middle of the winter to start over again. Why start each year mid-season? - Probably, because we want more seasons. We need an opportunity to forget our failings, and fantasize about the future, about how things now will be different, and how we will exercise, eat well, and be organized, and even nicer to others. Even though it is somewhat predictable, we still perceive time as a wave of newness rushing towards us like at a sea shore. We want to both keep our memories, and yet not let them dictate every future step. The belief in newness is a way of archiving, and somehow discounting the past.
Time is such an interesting thing to think about, because – can you see? – both hope and possibility come from our relationship with time. The difference between the past and the future is freaking profound: We cannot do a thing about the past, but we know it. We can do a lot about the future, but have no knowledge of it. Things we know – we cannot change; things we can change – we don’t know. What a bummer of a world; too bad there isn’t any other. The universe quickly hardens right behind our backs; push and the cement of completeness will not even budge. And the other end of the universe just barely appears out of the fog ahead – visible enough to be scary, but not clear enough to be comforting. What do we do? We chat! We drag the past with us, portending it is still malleable. We pretend the future is real, and can be predicted, prepared for, and tamed.
The New Year for me is the crunch of snow under my feet, and a cold wind stealing my breath when we face each other just the right way. I was probably four or five, and my mother was taking me to the day care, so early, it was still dark. I was all bundled up as only children in Siberia are dressed – almost round, with a scarf over my mouth icy and wet. When I squirm, - and squirm I must - the lights in snow crystals grow large, large, and huge before disappearing. My eyelashes are sticky, but it is really warm. There is no past, and no future; none of that stuff. Yes, one can exist without time, and without the need to start over. It just does not last long.