Friday, December 31, 2010

EOY 2010: Brooding as the sands slip

Do you see the faces?
Here we are at the end of the Gregorian Calendar Year, 2010.
The internationally-acknowledged calendar was first brought into use by way of a papal bull, dictated from Pope Gregory XII.  It is the result of an effort by the Catholic church to adjust for an 11 minute inaccuracy in the previously-used Julian Calendar, which worked on the assumption that the time between vernal equinoxes was an even 365.25 days.

The actual time it takes for Earth to complete its annual orbit is 11 minutes short of 365.25 days.  Over time, accumulated error moved the calendar year forward in relation to the actual equinox.  When the Gregorian Calendar was established in 1582, the vernal equinox occurred on March 11th according to the Julian calendar.  Pope Gregory's calendar introduced an adjustment* to the Julian "leap" year, which adds an extra day every four years to account for the lost time. 

*And what an adjustment it is!  The calculation to determine if a year is a leap year is this:  Every year that is exactly divisible by four is a leap year, except for years that are exactly divisible by 100; the centurial years that are exactly divisible by 400 are still leap years. For example, the year 2100 is not a leap year; the year 2000 is a leap year.

The entire Calendar issue epitomizes our human inability to penetrate the infinitesimal, does it not?  At some point, the minutiae of the Universe extend beyond our capacity to understand and we have to fudge it.  All those illusions we create with our human perceptions --all the grand plans, the beach-side castles, the rocks upon which we build our churches --melt back into the cosmic soup with a flicker of thought from the Unnameable Mind.

Those moments when we are confronted with this truth can be humbling.

So, with a humble heart I bid goodbye to 2010, that abstract period of time loosely derived from the workings of our solar system.  All in all, it's been good.

Peace, love, and kindness, folks!

1 comment:

Ridwan said...

Happy New Year to you and Maty my brother!

May 2011 bring you health, happiness, and prosperity.

Keep writing and pressing ideas here my brother.