The New Year And A Time To Reflect Upon Time ~ Annapolis Capital Punishment

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The New Year And A Time To Reflect Upon Time

With the new year, let us pause to reflect about time and its passing. Let us consider that the world is not all bad and neither is or should be our news about it. CP strives to balance negative with positive news, tearing down and building up, preserving the old and creating the new. Similarly, every year-end recap brings remembrance of good things that have happened and bad things that have happened and wishes about the year to come. But first, a commercial break from our publisher:

CP had another string of record-breaking months and this December pushes us above 5000 site visits and 7000 page views per month for the first time. These stats are double that of December a year ago. Thank you. We now return you to our regularly scheduled blog....

Please allow your local blogger who is educated beyond his means, to wax philosophical for a moment...a moment of your time.

While we segment time into tiny units and try to draw meaning by segmenting them into years, decades or eras, let us never lose sight of the fact that we don't even know what is time. We see time as the past, present and future, but the past is gone. It exists but in memory. The future is not here either. It exists but in our imagination. As for the present--well, where is it really? We only measure the present in its passing. Therefore, if there really is no such thing as time but in our minds and in its passing, does this mean that time and the world itself are only mental constructs? Perhaps all time and all existence really is NOW, as in right NOW. Such a world-view has profound implications, the mass acceptance of which would do more to upset the world order and world systems than would global terrorism. (Read the children's allegorical novel "Momo")

Back to journalism for a moment. As this gathering and redistributing of news occurs at a faster and faster, and is almost instantaneous (what is an instant anyhow?), remember that none of us, nobody, despite what some tabloid newspapers might say, can foresee the future. And despite this silly mistake of employing the term "the foreseeable future" in journalism and in political or economic pronouncements, let me repeat that---nobody can foresee the future and the future is NOW...for the future is always becoming the present which is fading into the past. Let me repeat that--nobody knows what is going to happen the second after I finish writing and posting this or the second you finish reading it. Nobody. Time could end. Time could have been made up a second ago and all we have is memory to make us think it stretches back...and back.

Every second is a new world. Every day is a new world. Every year is a new world.

Time and our personal or social concept of time is perhaps the most politically, psychologically and culturally charged construct in the entire human world. In this culture we equate time with money. We talk of leisure time, quality time and lost time. We have work time, drive time, and overtime. There is but time and it is life.

A great rabbi once said that time is life and killing time is murder.

Every second is a new world. Every day is a new world. Every year is a new world.

Let us wish each other the very best new second, new day, new year, new decade, new era and new world. Remember that when we count down and watch the ball drop. The ball is always dropping. Time is fleeting. Tempis Fugit! Carpe Diem!

For a slightly different take on this whole construct, try to find and watch a copy of the 1975 French film "Jonah Who Will Be 25 in the Year 2000". Perhaps you would like comedian Steven Wright's take on it. He does a sketch where he talks about someone who "died slowly." He doesn't get it. Died slowly? "You're alive. You're alive. You're Alive. You're Dead." He also says that every day he puts a little time aside and forgets about it. Then at the end of the year he puts it together to have a few days for himself. Sounds like Jim Croce's "Time in a Bottle."

So with this year passing into the past, with today becoming the future which tomorrow will be the past already, let us ask ourselves this question:

Are we dying all the time or are we living all the time?

Happy New Year.

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Anonymous said...

Does anyone have a translation for this?

Paul Foer said...

That would take time. I don't have the time to translate it for you. But you could begin by reading Plato's Cave or his Dotted Line. But that would take time too.Ahh time....flowing like a the sea

Anonymous said...

Paul, Happy New Year--you may enlight us or outrage us but your civic knowlegde, energy and involvement is amazing.

Trudy McFall

Paul Foer said...

Thanks....I am pleased that my piece did not require translating for you.
Enlightened outrage. I kind of like that concept. Yeah.....I'm gonna go with that. Blows against the empire. Rage against the machine. Tilting at windmills...

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