Through the Prism

After passing through the prism, each refraction contains some pure essence of the light, but only an incomplete part. We will always experience some aspect of reality, of the Truth, but only from our perspectives as they are colored by who and where we are. Others will know a different color and none will see the whole, complete light. These are my musings from my particular refraction.


Dawn of a Brand New . . . ish . . . well . . . just another day, really

The Complete Calvin & Hobbes, 12/30/90

I've never been one for making a big deal about particular dates as more special than the rest. Things are significant when they're significant, and slapping an artificial calendar over events doesn't change their timing. Calendars are good for coordinating with people and as a tool for communication. But I'm no good at remembering people's birthdays or getting excited about holidays or making resolutions or the like. I much prefer the philosophy described in this previous post: Gregory's Big Day.

Nevertheless, the sun has set on 2010.

As I was driving home from food shopping yesterday the sun was setting. The idea struck me to get out the phone and grab a picture of the last sunlight of the year. I almost pulled into the park to really try and set up a shot, but decided I didn't have that much time left and the idea wasn't worth that much trouble. Instead I just stepped out back when I got home and captured these.

I understand the whole idea of staying up until midnight on New Year's Eve is to celebrate the very first minutes of the new year, but I think if I were really wanting to celebrate the calendar change as something significant and symbolic I'd go to bed early. That way I could wake up in time to see the sun rise for the first time in the new year, to catch the first rays of new light on the dawn of a new day. That seems more hopeful and positive to me, more imbued with meaning and power.

This is just a cliched cop-out, I'm sure, but I strive for constant, organic reflection and self-improvement. Tangible, defined, short-term goals are important tools, but I guess I think bigger and deeper than that and feel like improvement will happen when it happens. I'm always working on losing weight, being more fit, being kinder and more generous, having more self-confidence, learning new things, loving life, making a difference for others, etc., and making them resolutions just seems redundantly obvious and artificially confining.

Speaking of artificially confining, here's a nonsensical idea: free-range dating. Meeting someone for a date seems like such a constructed, performance-based event. Each person is on his or her best behavior, presenting a persona to make an impression. Or even when they're not, there's doubt about it since that's the expectation. I'd much rather see someone in her natural habitat being her everyday self and have her get to know me in the same way, and if a relationship organically develops then it does. But only so many people just organically enter our lives in an everyday way, and waiting can be an exercise in futility.

The idea of resolutions brings to mind previous post Longing and Tranquility and its follow-up, Waiting for Readers, and You'll Do.

The closest I came to a resolution a year ago was changing my Facebook relationship status from nonexistent to "single." Divorced just over a month after fifteen years of marriage, just being able to talk about the change openly and publicly was a significant step. An important part of the healing. Much has continued in the year since, but that was a starting place of sorts.

Being single and living alone, my non-work time is more my own than just about anyone I know. Many people would be jealous, I'd guess. I can do whatever I want whenever I want, and don't have to consider anyone else's needs or schedule unless I choose to. After always living with someone else, it's very freeing and I value the independence. I've thought about the idea of a roommate to save money, but this is too nice.

Still, we always want what we don't have.

At the start of last week I realized I didn't have any plans for New Year's Eve. I decided not to wait around hoping something would work out and to preemptively invite all my friends over to my place. It was very last minute and my expectations for a good turnout were low, but as the responses to the invitations trickled in I was struck by the distorted, egocentric, self-pitying thought: everyone's a "we" but me. I know it's a false thought and I'm very thankful for all of my friends and family, but that was my mental state for a bit. It seemed everyone I knew had a family to be with or a significant other to enjoy or kids to take care of or a roommate to plan with/around, and I was very aware how my situation contrasted. In a way that felt very negative to me.

It's been a negative void for all of 2010, as much as I like my independent lifestyle. So I guess maybe in 2011 I'll try to be a little more proactive about doing something to address it.


At 11/16/2011 6:15 PM, Anonymous KNG said...

Odd to think that less than a year after you wrote this, you fell in love with and got engaged to a woman you'd been acquainted with for seven years--despite her best attempts to set you up with her sister insteads.


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