There’s a wonderful exhibit of surrealist Salvador Dali paintings and sculptures in New York’s Time Warner Center. They’re so alluring, they’re even upstaging the huge Botero Adam and Eve sculptures that attract much photo-snapping of people grinning slyly at Adam’s eye-level penis.
I am mesmerized by Dali’s clock sculptures. They drip time, melt time, warp time. Juxtapose fast and slow passage of time, or rather tease us for thinking such mundane distinctions exist. Apparently Dali agreed with Albert Einstein that time exists only so that everything doesn’t happen at once.
The Dance of Time
We may dance with time in our imaginations, but we mere realists and non-Einsteins need some concrete delineations of when things start and stop. Because too often it does feel as though everything is happening at once.
Milestones, Resolutions, Predictions
The New Year is a marker when we tend to think and talk about time a lot.
We look back on the big news events and personal milestones of the past year, clean out the closets of our minds, and make resolutions about what we plan to do in the next 365 day chunk of time. (Plug here—check out the new 9 Ways Power Tune-up and Journal for questions to help you consider where you are and where you want to go in your work, civic life, and personal relationships in the New Year.)
I asked my Facebook friends and Twitter followers what they think the biggest news stories of 2010 were. Responses range from Wikileaks to DADT repeal to Democrats losing the elections and therefore being freed to get some work done. That’s a very positive spin on my biggest disappointment, which the Democratic Congress and Barack Obama’s squandered time due to unwillingness to push hard enough against Republican recalcitrance on everything from judicial appointments to tax cuts for the wealthy. The campaign-promised Freedom of Choice Act was relegated to the ash heap without a peep from the women’s groups; the Paycheck Fairness Act was given a pro-forma fight but clearly wasn’t on Obama’s going home list.
On the plus side, seeing the fourth-ever woman appointed to the U.S, Supreme Court, bringing the current Court to one-third female symbolizes a shift toward leadership parity that can’t be ignored and that despite a small step backward for women in the new Congress is, I believe, stoppable only if women ourselves fail to pursue leadership opportunities.
What are your picks?
Trends I Like
Significant gender power trend stories began with noting that 2010 was the year that women became half of the paid workforce, and ended with the emergence of stories like this one about men in the always-ahead-of-the-curve Netherlands taking “daddy-time,” working four days a week instead of five or making their flexible workdays compatible with their family responsibilities. I hope that the next great wave of the feminist movement will be men and women together changing the workplace so both can have a life and earn a living.
And in the “we’re not going to accept that any more” category, we saw Emily May’s new Hollaback saying “no” to street harassers; the Women’s Media Center, Political Parity, and Women’s Campaign Forum collaborating on the Name It Change It campaign to call out the shockingly rampant sexism in political media; and formal and informal groups like EVE and SheShouldTalkAtTed springing up all over to claim an equal share of the both historical representations and thought leadership for the future.
What do you predict will happen in 2011? What are you going to make happen?
I love columnist Ellen Goodman’s approach: “We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives… not looking for flaws, but for potential.” And we’d do well to heed the inimitable late Art Buchwald, “Whether it’s the best of times or the worst of times, it’s the only time we’ve got.”
Whatever we do in the shiny New Year time ahead, let us be cognizant that the present we create will one day be someone else’s history; our actions, someone else’s inspiration.
But back to Dali time: You can find some great photos here, and you can see the exhibit at Time Warner until April 30. Now I must rush over there to Whole Foods and buy some black-eyed peas so I’ll be assured of good luck in 2011. Goodness knows we’ll need lots of good luck for all the work there is to be done in the Brave New Year.
Wishing you and your family a New Year filled with much good luck, good health, and plenty of time for love and art and whatever purpose fills you with joy, but, of course, No Excuses.
GLORIA FELDT is the New York Times bestselling author of several books including No Excuses: 9 Ways Women Can Change How We Think About Power, a sought-after speaker and frequent contributor to major news outlets, and the Co-Founder and President of Take The Lead. People has called her “the voice of experience,” and among the many honors she has been given, Vanity Fair called her one of America’s “Top 200 Women Legends, Leaders, and Trailblazers,” and Glamour chose her as a “Woman of the Year.”
As co-founder and president of Take The Lead, a leading women’s leadership nonprofit, her mission is to achieve gender parity by 2025 through innovative training programs, workshops, a groundbreaking 50 Women Can Change The World immersive, online courses, a free weekly newsletter, and events including a monthly Virtual Happy Hour program and a Take The Lead Day symposium that reached over 400,000 women globally in 2017.