Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The New Year and Time

by Sr. Teresa Forcades i Vila (English translation by Rebel Girl)
Un Manament Nou Blog

The very notion of progress of modernity being in question, circular conceptions of time are back in fashion - not without a hint of frustration. The notion of cycle, a time segment that is repeated with regular periodicity, seems to bring us closer to Earth and Nature which are supposedly governed by immutable laws. It is a notion that can offer us shelter in times of uncertainty. But it is a shelter that has a taste of failure, of impotence, and in that sense it is deeply contrary to the joy that is born from creativity, novelty, and surprise.

In order not to eliminate the notion of history entirely, there are those who propose the spiral as a symbol and expression of human temporal experience: both inside and outside of ourselves there are cycles that are more or less predictable but that are never identically repeated but rather draw curves in our subjective space that grow ever wider through the accumulation of experiences.

Seen in this way, time is an opportunity to open up, like a sea snail that with each curve increases its capacity to make the waves resound within itself, that ends up producing that deep sound that connects with the gut and awakens distant longings.

The image of the spiral design also allows us to conceive time as an opportunity to concentrate, to penetrate within oneself in an increasingly short and simple way, to approach the point of rest that energizes everything, the Archimedean point that is not really a subjective 'place' but a love relationship with Him who loved us first and year after year commits the folly of waiting patiently and confidently for us, as if He did not know that the new year would be for us a mere repetition, perhaps in a minor key, of the previous year.

Or maybe not?

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