It is not enough to see the ugliness of 2014 overcome by the grind of time and the ball drop of New Year's Eve. We should want the exhausting and terrible year to be overcome by memories of 2014's hope, love and beauty, just as in this Baroque era painting by French artist Simon Vouet.
The imagery of Father Time is a difficult one to trace in Western fine art history. It mainly stems from images of the Grim Reaper with his harvesting scythe, and images of the Roman Titan Saturn, who also carried a scythe. You can see one broken beneath Father Time in Vouet's painting above, while his hourglass is laying on his side, with time frozen or stopped by Hope, Love and Beauty.
The painting depicts 3 entities from left to right attacking Father Time. Left to right, we have Hope, (Roman goddess Spes) crowned with a wreath of flowers; Love, represented by winged Cupids or putti attacking Father Time's wings; and Love (Roman goddess Venus) nude and wearing her signature pearls in her hair. Typically time defeats love and beauty, and arguably even hope. At the dawn of a New Year, time is defeated and their positions reversed.
Brief reflections on hope, love and beauty in 2014.
Amid the terrible police actions in Ferguson and elsewhere, we should all be tremendously thankful for the urgent hope for eventual reform the black community on Twitter continues to give us. Without their tweets, often made at great personal peril, the brutality against the black community would still not have a light shining on it.
Love for gaming, developing games, and geek culture has helped a number of women who were savagely doxxed and harassed throughout the year hold their heads high and carry on. They're making our culture a better place.
We reflected on the tasteless, casual sexism of a shirt this past year while we marveled at the up-close beauty of a comet. It's important to call out banal ugliness and recognize beauty in apologies while appreciating sublime, cosmic images and scientific discovery.
Everyone will have their own personal list of ugliness they would like to beat down in their memories of 2014. Keep your list of hope, love and beauty top of mind as you enter into 2015.
Have a Happy New Year.