Happy New Year!

7 Hours in 77 Million Paintings (2008.03.08) from Pitch Bend on Vimeo.

Advent, right? It’s the start of the liturgical year for the Christian Church. At least for Anglicans and Catholics. Maybe Eastern Orthodox too, for all I know, but their calendar is kind of screwed up. Or our calendar is all screwed up depending on your perspective. The Protestants are not so much into the new liturgical year thing, as far as I can tell.

And why should they be? Who cares, really, about this arbitrary markage of time that centers around an event that has little corroboration in the historical record? As best we can tell, late December was chosen to celebrate the arrival of the little Baby Jesus because nobody would notice what the Christians were doing during the Roman celebration of Brumalia. Making virtue out of necessity, however, is our stock in trade.

Ecce Advent. It’s all about the anticipation. Tallulah was born during Advent, so I have a sense of what it is like to live in expectation of a big deal that has not yet come to pass. That and the simultaneous feelings of joy and weight that come with having a newborn enter your life. In my experience, having a relationship with something greater than myself is an important sustenance for living.

Yet when that relationship is in the crapper, it makes living a harder way to go. And frankly, I think I can tell you exactly how it got that way. Without getting too specific, let’s just say that I don’t think God went anywhere. Still, we are separated and if Advent is not about His return then it is about my being returned and my anticipating that return. (Picture coming home after a day at school as opposed to “The Second Coming of Christ.”) It’s a road trip.

Or a intergalactic voyage, if you want to imagine it that way. That’s how I imagined Brian Eno’s “77 Million Paintings” when I saw it today. Something of a journey through space, maybe even time, or consciousness. I’m not sure which. Maybe all three, a la the movie “Contact.” In any event, it was a great way to start the season of Lent, and a new year.