Reflecting on reflection

"... and the dance goes on." Detail from glass chandelier artwork by Marlyne Jackson. Seen at Kaipara Coast Sculpture Gardens, Dec, 2015. Image: Su Leslie, 2015.

“… and the dance goes on.” Detail from artwork by Marlyne Jackson. Seen at Kaipara Coast Sculpture Gardens, Dec, 2015. Image: Su Leslie, 2015.

Serendipity! There I was, trying to write something wise and thoughtful about New Year, when I found the post below — Reflecting on Reflection.

This captures my ambivalence about the event that we call New Year, and particularly the social frenzy around reflection and renewal. It’s not that I don’t believe in those things — more that I don’t want an arbitrary date to determine my personal stock-take.

For many New Zealanders — especially young adults –New Year is celebrated at beach resorts with friends and acquaintances and large quantities of alcohol. Injuries, sickness, fights, sexual violence and general risk-taking are all part of the package. It’s as though people must drive themselves beyond excess because tomorrow, January 1, is the ultimate “new day.”

I have come to see that every day is a new day; a chance to make a difference to our own and someone else’s life. And that’s the thought I’m carrying forward to January 1 2016.

To everyone who visits, reads, follows and shares their thoughts and wisdom on this blog, I wish you much happiness, love and the fulfillment of your dreams in the days, weeks and years ahead.

ngā mihi o te tau hou

Zimmerbitch

Sometimes reflection offers us more than we can hope to deal with. Photo: Su Leslie 2013 Sometimes reflection offers us more than we can hope to deal with. Photo: Su Leslie 2013

“Reflect” is one of those words that has both physical and metaphysical dimensions. At one level, we’re talking about the action of light on a surface:

1. To throw or bend back (light, for example) from a surface.

2. To give back or show an image of (an object); mirror. [The Free Dictionary]

… and on the other we use it to describe a set of thought processes

4.   a. To think seriously.     

      b. To express carefully considered thoughts [The Free Dictionary]

At this time of year there seems to be a social expectation of reflection and renewal. From a wholly arbitrary point in the way we measure time – midnight on December 31 – we extrapolate a metaphor of change and (usually) improvement. Newspaper and magazine articles tell us how…

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9 thoughts on “Reflecting on reflection

  1. Maybe if more people did a personal stocktake on a more regular basis, the world would be in a bit less of a mess. “…every day is a new day” is worth remembering throughout the year.

    Happy New Year to you, Su. May it be filled with fresh days with no mistakes in them (to paraphrase Miss Stacey). 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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