Evanston news delivered free to your inbox! 

Time, some say, is an illusion, that the past and the future are all of one piece with the present; that all of history and all of whatever awaits comprises every moment we humans, for whatever reasons, have needed to break down and measure. Very early on someone came up with the concept of time, just as someone much, much later conceived of a measuring rod and even later, a lined ruler.

Life and death – and everything before, after and in between – are all part and parcel of the eternal “now,” a word not necessary when or where time does not exist, i.e., as before the beginning, before the Big Bang.

Some believe all of creation happened in that moment, with a gargantuan burst of energy exploding into a void – an energy that still, to this day, continues to expand the edges of the resultant universe. Not being a scientist, I admit all of this is light-years beyond my comprehension. I have no difficulty leaving theories and the quest for explanations to capable others, like those in Geneva, Switzerland, who are currently looking for – and closing in on – what some call the “God particle” which, they believe, is at the core of all being and becoming.

Is it any wonder that the turning of one year into another becomes for many an occasion for much more than partying? The “How?” and the “Why?” of our existence can confound even more than the “Who?” when one stops to consider those questions. And the passing of a year usually prompts that. But when one wrestles with the idea that time is just an illusion, that the eternal is what binds us, as well as all of creation, one has to ask, “What is new about the New Year?”

If all of creation happened with the Big Bang and continues to happen “beyond time,” I find new meaning in “For thou art dust and unto dust thou shalt return.” Is it possible that the energy that is my spirit-self, i.e., the eternal part of my human experience, will return to its pure essence at the conclusion of this illusory, time-bound journey? The poet part of me once imagined the Big Bang as an explosion of God’s love, of which every bit of creation is a piece.

Forgive me for asking, but it is all relative-ity, is it not? Wouldn’t Albert Einstein say, “Of course!”?

I must admit such thoughts at any time of year confuzzle my mind but define my need for faith. With the turning of a year I am left feeling there are more bubbles in my brain than in any bottle of expensive champagne. Is that what the year-end partying is all about?