I have yet to find anyone anywhere lamenting the passing of the year 2022. Even the people working to pretend we are going to have another “New Year” celebration just like we always did seem aware that this is a bit of a self-deception. The endless stream of cognitive dissonances we have experienced throughout 2022 seem to coalesce in this final cognitive dissonance: Happy New Year!
In contrast, I have found many who are hopeful about 2023. I share in their hopefulness. It could be in part that leaving behind the ambiguities of 2022 evokes imaginary “better days ahead”. After all, we got through the first stages of Covid Cave Emergence Syndrome, whatever that was and still is. We are getting used to the reality that things are not immediately snapping back to where they were in 2018 or 2019. In some cases, that seems like good news. For me, in most cases that seems like good news.
We are, whether consciously or not, creating new realities, new events, new insights, new options. When we try to pretend our way back to the past, it does not work. We have moved past the reactive stage to this fact and are now collecting data on the changes (we still think metrics explain everything, snicker).
Each day we get a new report trying to chronicle all our changes: shifting in murder rates, percentage of people working from home, number of university programs abandoning previously powerful rating resources, dramatic indicators of adolescent mental health crises, autocratic governments diminishing in influence…. You can spend whole days watching these metrics pop up. There is often the vague allusion to the impact of the pandemic on these metrics. We really don’t know how to make sense of all of this yet. It is unclear if we ever will.
I decided to do one last post for 2022 as sort of a burial ceremony, an acknowledgement of a passage, a way of honoring the many “Sparkles” created this year to offset the endless discomfort of mysterious changes and cognitive dissonances. I congratulate all who have traversed the year, and welcome, with hope and possibility, 2023.
"Things fall apart; the center cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity."
- William Butler Yeats -
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