I love the new start. Today, is the first day of the new year. I hope to be walking upon the beach for at least part of this day. It is the place where the land meets the sea. The dry grassy hills of Mount Tamalpais finally recede into the rocky margin of the cold Pacific ocean.
It is often the edges of two things, two very different things, coming together to create a contrast that awakens us. These are places of great change. To stand at the edge of 15,000 miles of ocean that miraculously ends right where we are standing, its watery blue slipping into the sand beneath our toes, becoming land, is ultimately a wonder. There is such sameness in the ocean for thousands upon thousands of miles and then everything, in this exact spot, somehow everything changes and the sea becomes land.
I notice how people are drawn to these places. I know I am. I just returned from the ice fields of Patagonia and like so many people who go there found myself standing in front of one of the last actively growing glaciers. The Moreno Glacier is a 15 mile long wall of ice that ever so slowly is descending, gauging and then polishing the mountains beneath its weight, as it moves inch by inch, every day towards the sea. It abruptly ends there, with its 250 ft solid edge of ice breaking and cracking into massive chunks that crash into the ocean. This place too is an edge. Literally. It leaves you awestruck.
These edges, these transitions between two different things pushing upon each other are all around us. The blue sky above a white hot desert, that edge, that transition marked by a mirage upon the horizon, or the patter of falling rain upon a roof, that reminds us that the raindrops have finished their silent falling, or even the first day of spring that awakens us from the cold silence of winter.
I don’t exactly know why these pinpoints of change are so enticing. I do know, however, that this is a big part of why I make art. In many ways, art simply is a personal distillation of this idea; of presenting that moment, that crucial point where one thing gives way to another. A blue field of color shifts into orange, a gestural mark, quiets down into subtlety or the tell tale marks of an artist’s hesitant search finally shifts and is solidly resolved with eventual conviction and intention.
Everything is always in transition. Everything eventually gives way to change.
Even time. Within it there is also a boundary, a line that separates the ending and beginning of things. The old gives way to the new. In this transition, this moment, there is the possibility for great change.
It is the end of one year and the beginning of another. I don’t know why it is easier to feel more excited about what hasn’t been seen compared to what has, but it is. This new day, this very new day could be just the potent space between the old and the new, or it could be the actual day that the new arrives. Either way the edge between what was and what might possibly become is upon us all.
There is, again, simply great possibility.
In gratitude, Nicholas