Moments of Clarity

Autumn is my favourite season. I may be a little biased because I was born in September, but still. There’s a clarity you only get in autumn, when it’s too cool for a heat haze but the sun is still strong enough to burn away the mist and fog. On days like that, you can see all the way to the horizon in perfect clarity, every outline sharply delineated.

This blog has, after around seven years of life, undergone a bit of a facelift. Part of that is the new title. When I first created it, the intent was to document some travels I was planning and provide a replacement for the LiveJournal site I’d been using for years. (The archives of that site are available through the link above.) Given that the LiveJournal site had been a collection of random thoughts, the process for creating a title mostly consisted of coming up with some vaguely pretentious and throwing it up there. “The Limits of Human Imagination” was vaguely pretentious enough for my purposes, and it’s served in a mediocre fashion ever since.

So why the new title? “The Clarity of Now” seems just as vague and pretentious, right? Well, there’s a little more thought behind it this time. This past twelve months have seen as much upheaval as I’ve had to deal with since, well, the year that saw me set up this blog in the first place. In fact, a lot of the events of that time have echoed in the past year. The main difference is that I’m not the person now that I was then. I have – I hope – more insight into myself. More clarity, if you will.

The Clarity of the Now, then. Why? Because I’ve come to understand that now is the only thing we can have clarity about. The future is always unformed, and all the worrying and obsessing that we might do about it won’t change that a bit. The past might seem more solid, but try to recreate that past and you’ll find that memories aren’t to be trusted. We’re prone to obsessing about past mistakes and regrets just as much as the future and to as little purpose. The past is fixed and gone, providing lessons to learn from, and the future remains unborn in the now that we have and that we create moment by moment.

You may have noticed that it’s not just the titles of my blogs that tend towards pretension. That’s okay. This is a statement of purpose going forward, so I’ll allow myself a little bit of pretension this once.

I’ll still keep writing about my travels, whenever they happen. And when I have time, I’ll add more detailed diaries of those travels under the travels tab above. (Including the long-delayed addition of my Greek odyssey.) I do have some new travels planned, for all the craziness of this last year.

I’ll get back to writing reviews too, as my cultural consumption gets back on track. Thinking about how I react to what I watch, read, and play is something I enjoy doing, and it’s good to have an outlet for that. Plus, whoever reads this might get pointed in the direction of something they’ll enjoy, which would be a bonus.

The main thing though is to start doing something that I’ve wanted to do for a while: talk about the world as it is and what might be done about it. About politics, society, the environment. I’ve made multiple abortive attempts at this already, only to pause and reconsider, daunted by the scale of the subject. Well, I’m going to try again, and this time I’ll stick with it. A single person may only be able to make a small difference, but there are so many people making an effort already, and it’s the pebbles that make the avalanche. I’ve done little pieces here and there, but this pebble is tired of being stationary.

So that’s the reasoning behind the revamp. The acceptance that the only clarity there is is now. These are serious times, but there’s light to be found, and we can see all the way to the horizon, even at sunset.

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