1. Surely, there’s more to the start of the year than a blizzard of calendar sales and resolutions to snap like twigs over the knee of habit? Hope, renewal – if memory serves, those come with Spring cleaning. Until then I guess we wait like the frozen earth, mud-caked, still, statues at the gate. I keep waiting for the Word and remembering that it won’t come until I say it myself. Say it aloud. But what the hell was it? She doesn’t know either and pulls the bedding over her head.
It’s the first day of January, which you will remember is the month named for the Roman god Janus. Given his ability to simultaneously face both the past and future, Janus is often depicted as being two-faced. Anticipating the post-New Year’s Eve preponderance of hangovers and the dread of facing last night’s imbroglios let alone their repercussions upon the days to come, it stands for reason it would take the fortitude of a god to face one’s past and future – at least today. Or mere mortals could also just be two-faced, I suppose.
Historically, the beginning of the year hasn’t always been January first. It’s bobbed around a bit thanks to Julius Caesar (who added some mystery months and changed the names of others, claiming the month of Quintilis as his own) and later Pope Gregory after whom our current system, the Gregorian Calendar is named. In the Gregorian Brady calendar, Janus is more of middle month and jealous of March, which inspired the frequent lament, “Marcha, Marcha, Marcha.” Wocka, wocka. I’ll be here all week.