Most people I know make New Year’s resolutions. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But I do have some concerns about the concept. There is such a huge emphasis on New Year’s Eve in the Western world; the cultural norm is to do something extravagant and out of the ordinary, since you’re celebrating not just the year that ended, but also the new year that is to come.
I read a quote a little while back that summed up why I find such comfort in travelling. It goes like this: “Not all those who wander are lost.” For the past couple of weeks since I’ve been back from Cuba, I’ve been trying to outline what it is that makes me so liberated when I’m away. What is it that I can’t seem to find here in my daily life that is so emphasized when I am on different soil?
Elizabeth Gilbert’s memoir Eat, Pray, Love was nothing short of humorous and entertaining. And as intelligent and witty as her prose was, I found myself enjoying the book more in the beginning than when I had finished it. Jennifer Egan wrote a review for the New York Times and I think she was accurate in saying that the reader is left yearning to know more about the unresolved things Gilbert chose to leave out rather than the flowery and cliché events and ending of the novel.
I read an article recently by Tariq Ramadan, who is a professor at Oxford University, about the teachings of Ramadan. It was a beautifully written article, and an accurate reflection of the essentials of this holy month. The reason it stood out for me was mainly that I felt I connected to it in its entirety. He says in the beginning sentences of the article that the “fasting month is a school of faith, of spirituality, of awareness…”