It is not only old and early impressions that deceive us; the charms of novelty have the same power
B. Pascal (1623 – 1662)
according to Edmund Burke (1729 – 1797), an Irish philosopher who came up with theory of beauty and the sublime, novelty has its charm which explains why we behave or act in a certain way in different stages of life, particularly in earlier stage of life. it evokes one of the most basic and simple emotion in human mind, curiosity. the charm of novelty, when it meets curiosity would give us a sense of pleasure, an excitement which to me is rather necessary in walking through daily mundane routine. Novelty is the quality of being new, different and interesting, acquired from all kinds of new things you could find near you everyday until the simplest exhiliration you feel when getting to know someone new who interests you a lot. I could remember pretty well of how a new playlist of songs of music bands i haven’t heard before could develop a sense of excitement even when sitting on a train on the way to my far-away university. but then after some time, i found myself wanting for new playlist to regain the excitement.
novelty could have charmed people as they welcomed the new year just recently. the expectation of knowing what’s going to come or is in store for them, not knowing the unknown could evoke a sense of optimism within you and some would want to be optimistic as they come up with resolutions, while most of them do make list of resolutions without any idea why or what for, merely imitating what others do. some may do it with a more structured and conscious motives. I couldn’t remember when was the last time I made a new year’s resolution, knowing in mind that i am one of those people with no great optimism, making fun of those people whose resolution’s outline is based on the change of year. new year to me is just another day passing by, nothing’s really new but periodic numbers, all is still in linear and no new life, all you’ve got is a continuation of what’s been there before.
as i was assigned to photograph an event on new year’s eve, i realized something new. seconds after the countdown ended, i climbed a table and stood on it in order to get a better view of people’s expression while they were congratulating, laughing, shouting and hugging one another. all those expressions were priceless to witness. two people who hardly talked to each other would start to burst into laughter and become more familiar with one another since then. two people who didn’t relate well could start to offer a handshake and become less intense with one another through such thing called first hug, while some even repeat the hugs out of necessity to preserve the warmth of the moment. those who haven’t spoken for quite some time would reconcile with one another without having to bother who started first. no one would, for those first fresh few minutes of 2011, ever bother what’s going to happen the next day and no one would care what had happened the previous day. what matters was the ‘here and now’, of joining the uniformity of people being in the same room and time dimension, transferring various kinds of positive emotions. no one realized, to my advantage, that I was there standing on the table taking pictures of their unguarded and thus most truthful expression.
novelty has its charm, that i know for sure. what i didn’t know was that a simple experience of climbing a table on new year’s countdown could change my perception of a new year, precisely of the moment of transition from the old to the new. the experience of not being a part of those people, of not being affected directly in the laughter, tears and hugs could really make me see what they probably didn’t. it’s all about the whole idea that is conditioned in such a way for you to experience right there, right at that moment, of simply letting yourself to join the crowds, be affected and for once, to set aside differences. together sharing the charm of the newness and the expectation towards the unknown, of having the slightly similar perception in mind that everything will change for the better. After sensing all that, it occured to me now that holding on to a belief that “every new beginning has a consequence: having the same ending” doesn’t mean you end up being a pessimist, it’s just a daily portion of the realists. so to those of you who have enjoyed the charm last new year’s eve, i could say nothing but be happy for you, so my message to you is enjoy the charm and make the most of it while it lasts. While to those who didn’t get the chance, don’t worry for what you missed was only the powerful yet temporary charm and not the real essence.