Thursday, January 04, 2018

Thanks, Enemy!

On the cusp of two annual cycles it is traditional to draw conclusions from a sample of notable events artificially chosen from the previous cycle and to make predictions as to what might happen during the next, ascribing artificial significance to an artificial dateline. “Calendular heresy” is what one priest once called it.

A clock ticking over from one year to the next is not astronomically significant; it is merely a convention. It is a significant event to a few people—accountants, mostly—and, as a consequence, to all worshipers of Mammon. As for the rest of us, it is no more than a milestone in the passage of time—a soon to be forgotten mossy relic by the side of the road carved with a number—and by itself it is hardly memorable at all.

But we can try to make it memorable, if we want to, by treating it as a marker for what came before. As to what will come next, you can count on me to always predict that it will be more of the same, plus a few surprises, pleasant or not, and in this prediction I am yet to be proven wrong. We can approach the task of making the annual time marker memorable with regret and trepidation or with gratitude and hope, and I choose the latter. The year ended with a significant, and quite unusual, expression of gratitude.

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