All is artifice.
For many of us, midnight last night began a new year. But that’s simply a convention, a point in space-time whose meaning we agree upon and accept. I took very little notice of it, except to wonder how long it will take to put “2016” consistently on my checks.
Depending whether your calendar is solar or lunar, tradition, and some pivotal point in the history of your culture. This year may be:
- 2016 in the Julian calendar
- 2016 in the Gregorian, but eleven days late
- 5776 for Jews
- 1437 in the Islamic world
- 1394 in the Persian calendar (which isn’t used in Iran)
- 126.96.36.199.6 for all you Maya who may yet be hanging around
- 1937 in the Indian Civil calendar
- 224 for those whose era began with the French Revolution
- 2558 for Buddhists
- and several others
For my part, I’m fond of seeing this as Year 2; that is, two years, six months, and twenty days since my open heart surgery, the day I was “born again,” commemorated by a tattoo on my right forearm as Mayan date 188.8.131.52.12. But I’m also inclined to think about counting the years in reverse, the very personal cosmic countdown to my departure — except that day isn’t known.
So, in the spirit of the times — whatever the hell year it is — from this day forward, I wish better times for my friends and those who are not; for the Nation; and most especially for the World, with the hope that there is enough time to get it right.