This is a blog I am re-posting from previous years…
Well it has happened again! It is New Years Eve, and another year has spun off into the empty abyss of memory, another calendar page tumbles slowly but inevitably to the floor, another year of regrets and triumphs, victories and defeats, advances and setbacks, all gone, gone, gone….Gone forever, like swirling mists in the wind, like flickering shadows at night, like fog in the morning….One year sets and another year arises, just like the sun on it’s daily rounds….
We will gather tonight, many of us at the ritualistic parties and celebrations that have become symbolic of New Years Eve in all cultures, all through the world, and especially tonight here in America, to welcome in the new year, and to say farewell to the old year…What else can we do? We are only human, after all, and it is an intrinsic part of our nature to always look forward, to celebrate the new….Many of us will overdo it, become inebriated and raging drunk, some of us will do things we would never ordinarily do….It is all OK, it is all expected, it is all traditional, it is New Years Eve! And tomorrow is New Years Day, all bright and shiny and full of hope and promise, a New Year, a new beginning….
Some of us will drive crazy and make passes at friends and neighbors, and dance and party like there is no tomorrow….We will set off beautiful pyrotechnic fireworks displays and gather together, either at large outdoor city sponsored celebrations or in more intimate venues, at private parties with our best friends and neighbors, or in gaily decorated festive bars and restaurants to mark the momentous occasion…All the while knowing deep inside that tomorrow is already here, that there is no going back, that things can only get better, because they couldn’t get any worse….
Or as Jimi Hendrix put it:
“After all the jacks are in their boxes
And the clowns have all gone to bed
You can hear happiness staggering on down the street
Footprints dressed in red
And the wind whispers Mary”
We will dutifully make our annual ritualistic new year’s resolutions, knowing full well we will never keep them…Oh yes, we will promise to quit drinking, or quit smoking, or go on a diet, we will vow to live a more healthy life style, to take care of all that unfinished business, to make things right this year, this glorious, unsullied, full of hope and promise brand new year! But all the time knowing deep down these resolutions are rarely kept, and honored only in the good intentions and positive spirit that they were made in…And this is a good and honorable and human thing to do, to at least try….
So Yes! We will! We will try to be better people, kinder, gentler, more humane….We will get that promotion, we will raise our children right, we will be better parents, we will all be better friends, better wives or husbands, better lovers or significant others, yes, we will!… This time, things will be different, this time, this shining, bright new year, we really, really will………………………………………try!
The time for regrets and sorrows is behind us now, what’s done is done, the old year is gone, and we have the bright open, vast spaces of the new year to work with now, and this year will be the one, the year we have always wanted, it is right there, it is right here, in our grasp, we just have to hold on tightly and not let go!….We need only to keep the dream alive, each and every individual one of us, and it will all come true, there is no valid reason we cannot achieve our goals, overcome our inner demons, climb that mountain of hope and promise and realize true peace and happiness….It is all spread out before us, 365 more days to make it happen, to make it work, to make it right….
And as we look forward to the redemption and hope and promise of the new year, it would be well to remember that this is the human condition, this is what connects us all as human beings…The Scottish national poet and lyricist Robert Burns perhaps put it best, way back in the 1700’s, in his most famous and best known and still revered song, “Auld Lang Syne”…Even though the original words are blurred and archaic and the accent to thick for modern ears to translate freely, most people will gather at midnight and sing along as best we can, because it is a song about the indomitable human spirit as well as the wry recognition of the human condition….
Freely translated, most of us will at least know these few lines from Robert Burns immortal and hauntingly beautiful song, about life and love and just being human, and once again on New Years Eve we will join together to sing them as the clock strikes the midnight hour…..We all know how the song goes, we all comprehend it’s meaning, we all know the tune…
“Auld Lang Syne,” by Robert Burns:
“Well Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and days of long ago?
For days of long ago, my dear,
for days of long ago,
we’ll take a cup of kindness yet,
for days of long ago.”
HAPPY NEW YEARS EVERYBODY!
For more blogs by John Whye, see http://www.johnwhye.com