i'm de-laminating after a short, but hectic work week, and sit between two holidays, last week christmas, tomorrow new year's eve. i like new year's eve, even if i think the numbers we give our years are arbitrary. e.g. what year did the 21st century begin, 2000 or 2001? for many our new century began in 2000. but we don't count from zero. we begin our count with the number one. so the 21st century began, if we want to be academic about it, on jan. 1, 2001. but that's not how most of us counted the start of this bright, shiny century. it started on jan. 1, 2000. and if that is the case then the 20th century is the ony 99 year century of our civilization. oh, yes, i remember the brouhaha over all this shit. i recall the late scientist and writer stephen jay gould weighing in with all this nonsense. gould wrote -- i'm paraphrasing, of course -- we can call time whatever we wish. there is a thing called absolute time, but how we label the passage of time is entirely our making. we can call any year anything we wish so if the 21st century begins on jan. 1, 2000, leaving the 20th century with just 99 years instead of 100, so be it.
well, what a year it was. lots of deaths. political upheavals. our near, and far, future perhaps not so bright. still, i read poetry, to misquote the polish poet adam zagajewski, for stability, serenity and strength. anna and nick are in the next room watching one of our favorite TV comedies. i'm watching/listening to performances and interviews of favorite bands: my bloody valentine, sonic youth, guided by voices. anthony bourdain's travel show on CNN, parts unknown, is on the TV as i type. i make the world as it makes me. as tomas transtromer wrote, 'task: to be where I am/even in this solemn and absurd role/I am still the place where creation works on itself.'
in short, the world is our creation as we are the products of the world. if it is going to shit we have the ability to change in whatever image we choose. i agree with the climate scientist i quoted a few posts back who said, 'we're fucked'. but i add we are also lucky to be alive, to read, to write, to think, to love. i have no idea what the new year will bring. thom gunn in a poem for the new year 1997 said, 'I'm not superstitious/the new year could be very rewarding/Let's reschedule!'
let's reschedule, brothers and sisters. let us create and love and have sex and eat and drink and share and insert your favorite things here because i'm almost 50, motherfuckers, i'm getting old, or older, and i'm telling you the world is a breathtakingly beautiful place. as rimbaud said, now is the time of the assassins. or, at least, now is the time to not give in to despair. now is the time for love.
peace and happy fucking new year!