New Year’s Mumblings, Reflections, and Goals
Well, here it is, 2016 A.D. I’m not sure what that really means. I prefer to think of it as the year 56 ME (Marc’s Existence). The concept of the year is subjective and historically fragile. There have been a number of calendars through the eons and the current one based on Anno Domini (AD) or Christian or Common Era (CE) counts the years after the adjusted date of Christ’s incarnation, which traditionally is celebrated annually at 25th March during the former Northward Spring Equinox (NSE). To this count, introduced in sixth century by Dionysius Exiguus, we owe the calendrical numbering of the current years as well as the jubilee with the second millennium. Therein lies a testament to the influence of Christianity in the modern era, be it just or unjust. It’s just a calendar.
As I sit here pecking away at the keyboard with no real concept for a cogent post, I hope to possibly channel for some spark of insightful creativity. We’ll see.
If you look at the site you’ll see that I’ve been conspicuously absent for some time. It is not for a shortage of things to write about inasmuch as being overwhelmed with how to select what to write about. Things that seem relevant in one instant seem dated or relegated to obscurity the next, followed with the nagging remorse of, “why didn’t I write that down?” I have come to accept that everything is irrelevant and it is not so much what happens as it is that I happened. This is my site, and therefore, all about me. Current events, politics, news… ebb and flow the same things in different contexts ad nauseum. There is nothing new under the sun, except for us. Notwithstanding arguments for the hackneyed predictability of human behavior, our perception of the humdrum and rote experiences of this finite and quantitative world produces infinite experiences, feelings and perceptions.
It’s curious how I’ve come to regard many of the things which I applied such significance to, in the past, as inconsequential distractions resulting from conditioning, immature emotional hyperbole, fear, and insecurity. This is not to say I’ve divorced myself from emotion. For a time, I had submitted myself to allowing the world to filter through only reason, while avoiding applying any emotional meta data to the experience. For the most part, I was successful. Then, faced with deeply ingrained emotions cast violently about from the loss of loved ones and pets, fragility of life, aging…. things which seem to repel reason like wax repels water. I’ve hurt, grieved, cried, and prayed for my own end at time while suffering through some of these things and there is something about the pain and emptiness that makes one look even deeper inside for purpose. Life is cheap, short, and often painful. We make our own happiness or misery. I know the lives I no longer get to enjoy were temporary and my grief is probably more selfish than anything, but it is the empathy I feel for what others experience in their suffering or decline that makes me wish I could take it upon myself and thus, spare them. Enough. I’m not seeking pity. Just releasing.
2015 (55 ME) was a good year overall, despite personal loss. I’ve all but given up my personal motor vehicle transportation and committed to cycling every day regardless of weather. I finally rode the Katy Trail, and am in the best physical condition of my life. I hope to keep the progression towards cycling autonomy and taking the least convenient way of doing things. The State managed to coerce me into the legal arena on my driving without a license charge. I will be pressing my status as a stateless man and no obligation to recognize the fiction identifying itself as the State of Illinois. More on that later.
I have bid adieu to Facebook after many time consuming hours. I miss many of the friends made through that social media black hole, and maybe it is a character defect inherent in me that manifests in poor time management skills, but in all seriousness, much of the information posted there has been relegated to the “who gives a shit” drawer. I think Facebook induces some people to post for the sake of garnering attention or just to avoid the uncomfortable silence in social media where one friend’s post obligates a reciprocating “like” or “comment” from their friends, and hopefully angst or ire from their antagonists. If honest, Facebook should rebrand itself to say “Look at me!” – book. Guilty as charged and fully rehabilitated.
So, what does 2016 (56ME) hold in store? Who knows? Why speculate? We live in the now. The future only exists in our minds, as does the past. I am not the same man I was yesterday and will assuredly be different tomorrow, whether my corporeal self persists or not. That’s what kills me about New Years resolutions. We resolve to better ourselves based upon an agreed-upon, albeit arbitrary, chronological benchmark. Every day is a new year if you want to begin counting 365 days from the now. Years, or revolutions around the Sun, have no true place in our physiology, whereas days, or earthly rotations with respect to the position relative to the sun, do. I posit that years are much less consequential than days. So why resolve to change on a new year when you can change today, tomorrow, or any time. People are creatures of habit, custom, and reaction.
In closing, I can predict this. I will maintain my disavowment of the State. I will practice critical thinking. I will love, be peaceable, and do no intentional harm. I will be mindful, considerate, and just. Nothing ground shaking or earth shattering. Just me trying to figure this all out and seeking happiness in the meanwhile.