Whether it was the flu or a fierce cold, I’ll probably never know. Whatever I had—have—kept me from writing coherently for a few days. I chose not to try to post anything the last couple of days of 2022, opting instead to conserve my mental energy. That conservation did no good, other than allow me a little time to rest. Aside from hiding for all time the thoughts that went through my head as the year ended, my rest accomplished nothing of consequence. But keeping away from people these last several days probably saved others from catching whatever ailed me; and whatever remains with me: the coughing, headaches, body aches, chills, and various other symptoms that caused me to sleep so much. And to fail to sleep when I so desperately wanted to. I doubt whatever it is I had/have is still contagious, but to be safe I am remaining in a quarantine of sorts at home. I would not enjoy going out into the world yet, anyway, as I still feel a little weak and uncertain on my feet. Within a few days, I am confident I can and will safely return to the real world. In the interim, I will continue to contemplate the transition to a new, but artificial, measure of a segment of time.
Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.
~ Seneca ~
The Gregorian Calendar, which is now used by most of Earth’s population for civil purposes, first replaced the Julian Calendar on the day following Thursday, October 4, 1582; that next day was designated Friday, October 15, 1582. The ten-day adjustment was made by Pope Gregory XIII as a means of “correcting” the calculation of the dates of Easter. The adoption of the Gregorian Calendar, replacing the Julian Calendar, has been taking place ever since Pope Gregory XIII started the process. Ukraine and Yugoslavia and Russia, for example, adopted the Gregorian Calendar in 1918. Saudi Arabia did so in 2016. My interpretation of the Gregorian Calendar we all use, without thinking, is that it is the result of the merger between astronomical physics and religious accommodation. The calendar is a convenience and a generally simple shorthand that allows us to speak the same language with respect to the measurement of the passage of time.
The end of 2022 is behind us and the beginning of 2023 is here. Both are artificial measures of time, but they serve as milestones; markers to which we can point when examining changes that have taken place in our lives. My hope is that the beginning of 2023 will serve as the marker of positive, productive, rewarding, happy changes. Not only for me, but for everyone. If I had the ability to magically improve the world at large, I would exercise it. And, in fact, I have the ability to do just that. So does everyone else. It’s simply a matter of putting it to good use. I cannot change everything, but I can change something. It may sound cliché and trite, but I am convinced it is true. That always is true; not just at the beginning of a new year. At any moment, we can decide “I will contribute in positive ways, rather than complain or otherwise get in the way of improving the lot of others’ lives.”
As I look back at what I’ve written, I can see that I am not fully recovered from my illness. My mind remains foggy. That will change. But at least I am on the path to shaking off this fierce cold or flu or whatever it is. And when it is finally gone, I will spend time in deep thought, recovering some of the ideas that have been dormant this past week or so. I vaguely remember some I think are worth making available to anyone who might wish to read them. They will be here, in time.
Three monstrous crows just landed on the driveway outside my study window. Their “caws” are loud. How many crows does it take to constitute a murder, I wonder?