Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year(s)

Happy New Year everyone.

Einstein once gave an example of relativity relating to time:
When a man sits with a pretty girl for an hour, it seems like a minute. But let him sit on a hot stove for a minute and it’s longer than any hour. That’s relativity.
As most consistent bloggers who haven't contributed daily doses in a while, a while here being several days, not hours or years, I feel I need to offer an apology accompanied by an explanation. But as (insert famous person's name here, Einstein's or mine if you so choose) once so profoundly remarked, "Never ruin an apology with an explanation," I won't tell you why I haven't been pounding the keys with such productive, creative, publish-worthy, vim, vigor, and vitality lately.

In fact, in light of the holiday season and obligations to family and friends which includes much travel and gluttony recovery time, neither of which are conducive to cyber-rants and ruminations, I won't even offer an apology for why I haven't written (typed actually) in quite a while. Truth be told, it has something to do with a new High-Def 50-inch plasma TV and a new complicatedly sophisticated new (to me) novel called "House of Leaves." I'll let you decide which of the two is the ultimate culprit.

Anyway, today is the last day of the year know by most as 2008. Why, I remember it only feeling like a year ago that we were saying goodbye to 2007!

But it only feels like two years ago we were saying goodbye to 2005.

Only three years ago we were saying goodbye to 2001.

Only four years ago we were saying goodbye to 1993 . . . . .

Yes, time seems to accelerate as we get older. The memories of a decade ago only feel like they were created several yesterday's ago.

While camping with my son Monday night, we were tuned into a nearby radio station that played a mix of music from any genre and decade. They had a feature called the "Nine at Nine," whereby they played 9 songs from a particular year back to back to back to back to back to back to back to back to back.

The 9pm year was 1971. It included such memorable songs as the Who's "Won't get fooled again," and Paul Revere and the Raider's "Indian Reservation" and Melanie's "Brand New Key." As I lay in the tent, battling the first indications that I was ill equipped for what would be a very cold night involving freezing temperatures, I fondly remembered each song and sang along in my head as a way to pass the time and generate a little body heat. It was only very late into the set that I realized that I wasn't even born when these songs were released, but I knew them well enough to pass as an avid teenage fan of these bands and songs back in the day.

After freezing by hands, butt, and knees off during the night, 9am came after what seemed like 12 years, not hours, an atypical DEceleration of time, Einstein's "sitting on a hot stove" analogy only in the opposite temperature conditions, the next "nine at nine" came at 9am, featuring the sounds and songs of 1994. As I sang along to songs like Ace of Base's "The Sign," Collective Soul's "Shine," no song put the passage of time into perspective quite like Sheryl Crowes "All I Want To Do."

As a 20-year old in college, I remember singing along with this song that introduced the world to Cheryl "no, I'm not a Counting" Crowe. I guess because Cheryl is still on the music scene, making music that pretty much sound the same, this song doesn't "feel"14 years old! But nonethless, 14 years has passed since this song came out. That was before I had two kids, before I had a wife, before I had a Math degree, before I had 9 knee surgeries, back before Y2K, back beforeI really had a life. Yet, it only seems like a short time ago.

It's a scary, sobering thought to think of how much time has passed and how much has really happened since then. I'm a totally different person now than I was that "short" time ago, although I'm really the same.

I got to thinking about the songs I listen to today, songs by the Jonas Brothers and Miley Cyrus, the music my kids listen two that I cannot help but learn, sing along with, an associated special moments to. The popular songs of today will quickly, and more rapidly become, the songs of the tomorrows of a decade or two from now. I'm going to blink, and all of a sudden, my son will be driving and my princess will be walking down the aisle, and I can do nothing to stop the avalanching, snowballing effect of the passage of time.

I'm sure there will be other songs along the way that will capture the moment, that will remain locked in time, preserving the irreplacable memories of a bygone era, songs that will subconciously me mapped and pigeonholed into our cognitive schema. As Trisha Yearwood sang in 1992s "The Song Remembers When" (could it have been that long ago that I was a senior in high school with that BAD haircut?????):
Even if the whole world has forgotten, the song remembers when.
So as midnight approaches, I'm reminded of another song that I wasn't alive for, but still recall every year at this time, an original poem Auld Lang Syne by Rober Burns in 1788, whose chorus roughly translate to
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind ?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and old times since ?
It would be much easier to "forget" old acquaintances if there wasn't a song associtated with it.

Good luck in the new year. May you savor every fleeting moment of it. May you have only grand, happy moments to remember, and may your 2009 of today be your 1994 of tomorrow.

And remember . . . history repeats itself. Before you know it, that bad haircut from high school that you still sport will be fashionable again: your great-grandkids will be wearing it tomorrow!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year to you too. May the New Year bring you health, wealth and students that can remember the unit circle!