Tuesday, 30 December 2014

2015, Everything Old is New Again

January 1

2015, Everything Old is New Again


Experiencing January 1 Again.

One day we are in 2014 the next in 2015. It does not feel so very different, except that perhaps last night we went to a party, and last week newspapers kept looking at the last year’s events, and telling us what was the best and the worst, in film, in the media, in politics etc.

Next week they will start telling us what to expect in 2015, in film, in the media, in politics etc. They may be right, but from past experience we know we are also set for some unexpected events!

Thus the year ahead will be much like last year though not an exact replica. It will probably be just as ordinary, but also just as unexpected as last year.

Home From Greece

Australian Boomarangs

Like so many Diaspora Greeks, Takis found a problem settling back into Greece, but then also another one when bringing his Greekness back home to Australia. From here in Australia we now look at Greek news (at the moment the ferry disaster, the possible change of government) and feel a different kind of involvement, an involvement from a distance.

 In his poem Going Back Home from Greece Cavafy, the Greek poet who lived in Alexandria Egypt considers this problem. The speakers in his poem are Egyptian and Syrian Greeks, and though Greeks Greece is no longer home. His tone is ironic as he says that Greeks in Greece might think some of their attitudes not properly Greek, but what he points out is that even those with ‘Asiatic affections and feelings’ are Greeks too.

Going Back Home from Greece  

by C.P. Cavafy

‘Well, we’re nearly there, Hermippos.
Day after tomorrow, it seems—that’s what the captain said.
At least we’re sailing our seas,
the waters of Cyprus, Syria, and Egypt,
the beloved waters of our home countries.
Why so silent? Ask your heart:
didn’t you too feel happier
the farther we got from Greece?
What’s the point of fooling ourselves?
That would hardly be properly Greek. 
It’s time we admitted the truth:
we are Greeks also—what else are we?—
but with Asiatic affections and feelings,
affections and feelings
sometimes alien to Hellenism…’ 

Ways of Re-entering a Year

The New Year can open up new experiences. When I accompanied Takis to Greece in January 2003 I had no idea of all the new experiences that were going to open up for us. But now looking back I can see that in fact what happened was that we began a project in which we set out to make everything new again.

An Old House Renovated

Some Re-words that describe our project in Greece.

It was a…


We were…


New Year resolutions have a bad press. So my suggestion is not to make a New Year Resolutions, rather to contemplate ways to freshen up some old ones. And perhaps like us in our project you could plan to do some reclaiming, or replanting etc.

 New/Old Experiences and New/Old Projects
Yep, one day we are in 2014 the next in 2015. But it is just the start of another week and it may not feel very different from any other Thursday. However, to borrow from my experience of re-entering Greece, or re-entering Australia, I’ve found there are ways of doing this, none better than another. 

Entering the New Year might also offer these same possibilities.

We can let ourselves slip easily into the old ways, and love the return.

We can maintain an ironic distance comparing and applying knowledge gained to what we are about to re-experience?

Or we can take a more long-term perspective, noting past knowledge but aware that this year may require adapted and different answers.

Two in this group are also in our 2014 picture 

Time passes

The New Year can open up new experiences. This is not a suggestion to make a New Year Resolution, rather it is a suggestion to contemplate some old projects in new ways.

 Happy  2015!


1 comment:

  1. Hello Julia,

    An insightful post, I can still remember going out New Years Eve 2000. That was the year computers weren't programmed to go past 2000. A friend worked for the water corp,he had to drive around the smaller towns to make sure everything was still working. Apparently there was a big stockpile of water bottles in case the water things didn't work properly.
    I am not sure will happen in 2015 but I am sure it will be a mix of things.

    All the best to you and your family for 2015.

    Happy days.