In a way I'm not one to consider this last day of 2013 as much different from any other day. The first day of the year was arbitrarily decided by other mere mortals many centuries ago and they could have chosen any which day of the equally randomly determined year. We are on the eve of a new moment at all times. Every little second we live is unique in itself and the like of it won't come again. And every breath we take signals another, never before experienced, event in our lives.
“The sand in the hourglass runs from one compartment to the other, marking the passage of moments with something constant and tangible.
If you watch the flowing sand, you might see time itself riding the granules.
Contrary to popular opinion, time is not an old white-haired man, but a laughing child.
And time sings.” Vera Nazarian
The more sand has escaped from the hourglass of our life the clearer we should see through it. (Niccolo Machiavelli)
I'm not sure Machiavelli got this one completely right, but at least he inserted the word "should"!
"What if a demon was to creep after you one night, after your loneliest loneliness, and say: This life which you live, must be lived by you once again and innumerable times more; and every pain and joy and thought and sigh must come again to you, all in the same sequence. The eternal hourglass will again and again be turned, and you with it, dust of the dust! Would you throw yourself down and gnash your teeth and curse that demon? Or would you answer: Never have I heard anything more divine."
I know what my answer would be! Do you?
The quote also reminds me of a book by Simone de Beauvoir called Tout les hommes sont mortels (All men are mortal), published in 1946. It tells the story of Raimon Fosca, a man cursed to live forever. If ever you desire to do the same this is a chilling tale of the consequences. I first read this book many years ago when I was too young to truly appreciate its darkness but like all her books it is worth re-reading again and again.
There, despite all good resolutions, I'm getting morbid! So let me leave you and 2013 with one last quotation by Thomas Mann (another of my favourite writers):
"Time has no divisions to mark its passage, there is never a thunderstorm or blare of trumpets to announce the beginning of a new month or year. Even when a new century begins it is only we mortals who ring bells and fire off pistols"
And I won't even be doing those things, in order not to scare the dogs!