I have always been of the opinion that it’s possible to learn something new every day—whether it be big, small, trivial or otherwise. Maybe if you feel the same way, I can impart something new in your direction via this blog. Did you know that the month of January was named after Janus, the Roman god of gates and doors? He had a head with two faces so he could look in opposite directions at the same time.
January made its debut as a month 2,500 years ago. When it arrived on the scene, it was the 11th month of the year and March was numero uno. It wasn’t until 300 years later that January went to the head of the calendar.
By virtue of Janus for whom this month was named, we generally think of ourselves as looking over our shoulders at the year just finished while looking forward and eyeing the New Year ahead. We have over time begun characterizing the just-finished year as a bearded, old man and the New Year as a baby. Then somewhere along the way, we introduced New Year Resolutions into the mix with the hope of raising this baby better than in the previous year.
Some people think of January as the blah month. The only two things they portend that seem to keep it from being totally monotonous are the January White Sales and its own official holiday—Martin Luther King Day.
For me I get to thinking not so much about resolutions, sales or a holiday but the whole system of clocks and calendars and how unusual it is that human kind has developed measurement in all that we do. Computing time is so much a part of our lives that we do it almost like robots. The clock and the calendar are simply there and we accept them. They govern our every activity—and life without them would be unthinkable. Yet hidden behind their realities are interesting facts, exiting stories and fascinating people. These just give us as writers so many more things to write about. What about leap year? How did man discover that? Who invented the alarm clock? Who came up with the system of months, seasons and wrist watches?
So many things cross my mind when we traverse into another year just brimming over with loads of new things to learn and write about. Time is like a giant hors d’oeuvre tray of writing topics. That’s why I say I’m out to learn something new every day. It’s out there just waiting for us writers to discover.
Happy New Year!
SPECIAL NOTICE: On December 5, 2013, my blog was entitled MEXICO CITY COLLEGE. I had a very nice, lengthy comment from reader Dave Olsen. He too attended MCC at the same time I was there (even though I didn’t know him) and he has some unusually interesting information to impart to us. If you go to the MCC blog, you will be able to read his comments. Very, very interesting. ALSO note that it is now possible for you to add your thoughts and comments at the end of each blog. I invite you to do so and hope you will. Dave certainly did and what an interesting addition it made.