Wednesday, January 26, 2005


starting a new year?

one of my friends sent me these words on january 7th:

'It's hard for me to get excited about new year's because I feel Burning Man is my real new years, and January 1st is just a cheap imitation eaten up by mass culture.'

his sentiments echoed something i'd been feeling that week. people around me were setting resolutions and intentions for themselves, but i felt no need to do that because i set all of mine back in early september and am still working on them. up until that point i hadn't really thought of burning man as a replacement for new year's, per se, but for the last few years that's been the time of year when i do my self-evaluation and reset my goals.

so i was pleasantly tickled and cozified to see the new poll on the burning man website: 'What day of the year do you consider the beginning of your 'new year'?' i'm pleased to report that at this point, with 446 votes counted, burn night is in the lead with32.5%.

Hmmm. Well, the Burn is supposed to symbolize a renewal. And comparatively, New Year's is such a laaaaame party. But I'm trying to move away from these actual dates that are supposed to signify a rebirth and a milestone and a dream reached. If I could accomplish more of them (with, perhaps, a life coach or something of that nature), or at least some of them, then I could get behind it.

But, for many of my Burning Man friends, no, probably all of them, the Burn represents a night of renewal and return to the wholeness and purity of self. But why should all of those feelings necessarily mean that event is New Year's?
so is your point-- why does the start of a year necessarily need to be associated with self-evaluation and rebirth? if so, good point.

but i think the point of the poll and the point of the whole conversation is that the start and finish of a year is subjective and arbitrary, and i'd guess that most people like having a new year start with some sort of change, and change within self is the change that individuals (supposedly) have the most control over.

but yeah, the only reason i see burn night as my new year is *because* that's when i reset my goals--i didn't first see it as new year's day and *then* start doing self-evaluation. so for me that's why january 1st is artificial. the only reason i would do resolutions in the beginning of january is if someone told me i had to--i don't feel like it's an appropriate point of reassessment during my year.
Y'know, Burning Man's date is kinda arbitrary... Though it could also symbolize the beginning of a new football season... Hmmm...
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