Words to kick-start the New Year

gears

Andy Dingley image

Silk’s Post #16 – I have this steampunk-inspired vision of what must happen this evening as the clock strikes midnight and the New Year comes into being.

A cosmic mechanical system of epic proportions groans into action, massive cogs aligning with each other, as the ponderous gears of time ratchet the universe forward one more click into 2013. Kaaah-klunck. Time moves forward and 2012 becomes the past, never to recur in this eternity.

The book of 2012 will close.

The year’s unfulfilled opportunities will forever remain blank pages. Its glories will become part of history’s recorded march toward enlightenment, and its iniquities will always be preserved in dark-stained chapters. A new book will open, its snowy pages inviting the world to fill them with more of the former and less of the latter.

Such an awesome and unstoppable force as the passage of time certainly requires a bit of ceremonial observance. We rise to the occasion with the spirited ritual of the New Year’s Eve Bacchanalia, followed by the sober ritual of the New Year’s Resolution. Writers are, it seems, enthusiastic participants in both.

At the risk of reprising a number of well-published chestnuts, I begin my list of favourite literary New Year’s quotes for your contemplation with a bit of ancient wisdom …

“A thing is never too often repeated which is never sufficiently learned.”   — Seneca the Younger

“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language. And next year’s words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning.”   — T. S. Eliot

“We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives … not looking for flaws, but for potential.”   — Ellen Goodman

“I made no resolutions for the New Year. The habit of making plans, of criticizing, sanctioning and moulding my life, is too much of a daily event for me.”   — Anais Nin

“Time has no divisions to mark its passage, there is never a thunderstorm or blare of trumpets to announce the beginning of a new month or year. Even when a new century begins, it is only we mortals who ring bells and fire off pistols.”   — Thomas Mann

“New Year’s Day – Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual.”   — Mark Twain

“Good resolutions are simply checks that men draw on a bank where they have no account.”   — Oscar Wilde

“Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbours, and let each new year find you a better man.”   — Benjamin Franklin

“Cheers to a New Year and another chance for us to get it right.”   — Oprah Winfrey

“No one ever regarded the First of January with indifference. It is that from which all date their time, and count upon what is left. It is the nativity of our common Adam.”   — Charles Lamb

“Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one.”   — Brad Paisley

“One resolution I have made, and try always to keep, is this: To rise above the little things.” — John Burroughs

“I shall stick to my resolution of writing always what I think no matter whom it offends.”   — Julia Ward Howe

“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.”   — Albert Einstein

“Gimme one more chance.”   — Madonna, “One More Chance”

“Oh baby, give me one more chance.”   Jackson Five, “I Want You Back”

“Oh baby, baby, baby gimme one more chance.”   — John Lennon, “What You Got”

“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something … Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.”   — Neil Gaiman

“Write faster.”   — Silk Questo

To all my writing friends: may your gears mesh with brave ideas and your blank pages fill with beautiful words in the New Year.

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