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Poetry: I read it, write it, teach it, edit it, review it, publish it; Etc.

Monday, January 19, 2009

The problem with January

It's the 19th already. This brings to mind Calvino's personal motto, an old Latin saying, Festina lente, or "hurry slowly."

Actually the problem with January seems to begin in December. Do you remember there used to be an entire week between Christmas and New Year's, one long, languid week with no school or little work, holiday celebrations over, and tiiiiiiiiiime to simply relax? What happened to that week? It's gone as far as I can tell. I close the door on the last guests Christmas night, blow out the candles and when I awaken, it's New Year's afternoon. It's January, when most of the boxes on the new calendar are still as empty and white as a snowfield. January, when a whole year stretches out wide, one you get to spend all over again. January a time to dream, reflect, perhaps resolve to do things differently. In any case, not much else used to happen in January. It was a long month. At least that's how I experienced it. January was a month you could count on to drag like an iceberg.

Now like the last week of December it seems January too shifts from glacier to galactic. The stillness of winter no longer exists. Stillness becomes a curiosity, something to glimpse as a blur out the window of a bullet train. Oh, look, how lovely, what were you saying? And so the year barrels ahead full-speed.

Hurry slowly. Apparently the concept isn't strictly post-modern. And it tempers the alternative, hurry hurriedly. All blurredly. Even though that's how most of life gets lived-- fast, faster. The ancients must have felt it, too. Festina lente. I guess there's some comfort in that. Festina lente. Here we go.

1 comment:

  1. As I recall, the week between Christmas and New Years was spent lounging around in NC!! It was relaxing for me, at least :)

    Pretty sure you can kiss your January's goodbye now that you're teaching at a college!