Friday, January 01, 2010

875. Run

Last night was not only New Year's Eve, but also a "blue moon"—the second full moon in a month. (This happens every few years, but won't occur again on New Year's Eve until 2028.) Judaism had a similar event last April 8 when we said the Birkat Hahama to mark the completion of the sun's 28-year solar cycle. (Hmm, 28 years... 2028... 28 = 4 x the 7 days of creation.) Whether or not these occasions and numbers have grand significance, I have no idea—but I think we put too much emphasis on the possibility.

We lead linear lives, and by custom and instinct mark the milestones on that line—New Year's, birthdays, s'mahot, yahrzeits. Like the word "milestone" implies, these signposts remind us how we've grown and changed, how far we've traveled from beginning to end. And we're limited by the laws of physics from skipping any step on that path. We have no choice but to take each one. Still, we often try to speed through like a race (climb the corporate ladder as fast as possible; get rich quick, etc.). This really makes no sense, since ultimately we want to extend the journey for as long as possible. But the fastest caveman caught the biggest large beast and therefore got the best dinner; we're also hard-wired, as a survival tactic, to run from milestone to milestone and ignore the scenery. Run vs. amble, an eternal struggle between two necessary compulsions.

So I try not to put too much stake in those portentous 28-year- or millennium markers (i.e, Y2K). All the preparation, pining, waiting for a few brief blue moon moments distracts from closer scenery, the daily goals and triumphs that keep us engaged as we travel from one end of the road to the other. Those are the real occasions that mark our slow, steady and (God willing) very long progress through life.

3 comments:

Laura Hegfield said...

For me that line is a spiral going inward and/or outward...continuous growth in both/all directions...I'm not a number person either...numerology completely confuses me...actually remembering phone numbers isn't easy for me either! The older I get the more fluid that spiraling line of time feels. It helps me to feel rooted by celebrating milestones and also gives me points of reference...but again there is a fluid feel from one marker to the next in both/all directions. And then, well all the in betweens...where most of life happens...I love what you said: "...the real occasions that mark our slow, steady...progress"...the mile stones help to put the deeper daily minutia in perspective.

Happy Solar New Year

Lovebabz said...

Happy New Year!

I love this post...got me thinking metaphysically. I love the way we are all connected by magic, myth, legends, God and blogging!

alto artist said...

Happy New Year to you both! I love the idea of life as a spiral (I recently heard someone compare the Jewish year to a spiral, as well, linear and progressive but also changing from year to year as we change and grow). The most important part is that we're connected by all those wonderful dots on the line that Lovebabz mentions--here's to a year of many more dots!

--aa.