Goodbye 13, Hello 14
The idea struck me the other day that we go through a form of group therapy at this time of year, which probably sounds very 20th century California. By this I mean we spend time with our friends and family, we eat and drink together, talking, reflecting on the year, celebrating, remembering, venting, generally making sense of the events of the last twelve months. Then on January 1st we have a fresh start, we can close the old year and open the new untainted one, full of promise and possibilities. This looking back before we move forward helps bring some perspective and allows us to order our priorities, hence the concept of resolutions, a short list of things to make the new year better in some way than the old.
I've done a bit of looking back recently. We spent a week over Christmas in a small Cotswold stone cottage in a village walking distance from my childhood home. This provoked quite a profound reaction in me that I wasn't really prepared for. I don't want to call it nostalgia, but I imagine it is partly that. It is more a feeling that time has passed that can't be regained, a sense of loss in a way. So whilst walking through the physical spaces that I walked as a younger me I was superimposing the remembered version of that place onto what I was seeing as an adult, trying to make sense of the passing of time. I found the solidness and familiarity of the landscape reassuring, villages and countryside change at a snail's pace compared to cities and so much was as I'd seen it decades ago.
My camera has always been my tool for understanding the world and this could be in part because it is a device for stopping time, and providing the opportunity to study a moment at length, examine the surface of the world rendered motionless.
The time spent there was wonderful actually and although I was going there for a holiday and to be near my family it served another purpose too, inspiring and redirecting me for 2014.
Happy New Year!