The end that is a beginning



Camilo E. Ramírez

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All ends become beginnings. The end of the year is the edge—the limit of a 12-month calendar that delimits a 365-day year, which is based on the stars and seasons. It’s one of the many ways in which humans create the space-time references that we rely on for just about everything. The end of the year is an imaginary passage from one time period to another that occurs at the threshold where the end coincides with the beginning at the appointed day and hour—twelve mid-night on December 31. Like life, which changes from one moment to the next, the old year ends and begins again—in the New Year—in a single second. Along with new expectations and old, unstoppable time transpires, eventually catching up to everything—with celebrations and high hopes for some and work and loneliness for others. We all experience the passage of time in our own way.

The New Year gives us the feeling of having a clean slate that is full of possibilities. It represents a place in time where we can start to make good on outstanding resolutions (“Now I’ll finally get to...”), projects, wishes and desires. But the new can be just as stressful as the old, precisely because it is something that is unknown, which implies creation on the basis of lack of knowledge, not only of life and the supposed reality in which we live, but a misinterpretation of what someone is supposed to be or not be, since the self is empty of content but full of error and ignorance. For example, if we wait until we’re ready to do something we want to do, we’ll never do it. If we only respond based on what we know (the skills, errors, etc. that we believe we possess), our scope of action will be limited. This is why it’s best not to know ourselves too well—not pay much attention to how little or how much we think we know about ourselves. Instead, we need to do what we want to do precisely because we want to do it, not because we have the skills, requirements and so on that will supposedly guarantee a successful outcome...

Some New Year’s wishes are just that wishes. We make them and hold on to them in order to wish for them not to actually do them, but rather to use them to organize something: sometimes guilt, sometimes thwarted hopes and dreams. Other wishes may come true, and we can use them to commence something—an experience, perhaps, which we don’t know where it will lead—maybe a meeting, if not a re-encounter with whatever we thought we possessed or lost. Where allow yourself to be taken—without many guarantees—in order to make your dreams a reality?