Posted tagged ‘Trajan's Column’

The Janus Effect—Riding into the New on an Old Horse

January 6, 2021

Saddle Bags full of Old Stuff, Camping Out in the New

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Janus Effect— Riding into the New on an Old Horse


Janus, an Etruscan god, borrowed by Romans for their first month of reformed Julian calendar, which previously began March—equinox. The god is pictured, right, as a young man looking forward, old man looking back.

Angels, far right, were invoked to guide the army through battle, horses blessed as bearers of essential supplies


Emperor Trajan, A.D.98-117, seen left, creator of Trajan’s Column in the Roman Forum, used his power as Optimus Princeps to erect a 1st-century video documentary in STONE of his successful campaigns in subduing barbarians throughout the Empire, being offered beheaded captives

Trajan’s column in Rome, erected after successful Dacian campaign, portrays Rome’s omnipotence in all things martial—barbarians always defeated by superior Roman knowhow/weaponry/transportation

Saddle bags full of Old Stuff, Camping out in the New

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Emerging from what feels like a deep dark cloud of a year—2020—into the light of a new one which has potential to wake us all up and catapult us right out of bed, it is tempting to blanket all of the bad with the old, and look to the new year to solve all our problems.

But it’s a little more complicated than that.

If I’m honest, solitary confinement aka lockdown aka quarantine aka Tier 4 [for Brits], has had a remarkable effect on my writing regimen. Many blog authors and fiction wannabes will agree, we need a writing routine to help get ourselves organized, or we’d never produce a single word—bless our Muses, may it never happen.

Angelic Potpourri of Offerings from the Stars & Social Media as Humanity Wakes up to Responsibility

Creative people have found time in isolation rewarding in unexpected ways: more self-time allows honest re-assessment of our capacity for change, our output—both volume and quality—and enjoyment of what we do. With no distractions to interrupt our daily entry to the Writer’s Cave—painting boudoir, or garden plot [unless it becomes a criminal act to do so]—new books get written, music composed and broadcast, gardens and parks flourish. Nature likes to show off her growth.

Having nobody else to talk to, or hug daily—some elderly have had no phone connection or physical touch for months—has an effect of allowing us to spiral inward to where our Muse usually sits at her own computah waiting for us to ask! That isolation opens inner doors to our mind—and its myriad compartments—usually unheard in the (former) hurly burly of day-to-day existence—what we used to call the Nine-to-Five.

The new Nine-to-Five might be called more appropriately the Dawn-to-Dusk, or Sleep-no-More. Reaction to having only oneself in charge of one’s day—plus social media— has made superstars out of teenagers and octogenarians alike.

Drive-thru Virtual Graduation for U.S. Students, Remote Viewing A-levels in Britain

A virtual world for Education premiered in British A-level exam results, and U.S. Virtual Graduation ceremonies, with drive-in access to ‘graduates’ on a giant public screen, and cars suitably six feet apart. Zoom and Facetime no longer domain of teenagers, hosts home vids from newbies thru to experts. Tweets and Instagram posts get a million followers, 12-year olds become ‘social media influencers.’ Even the Mother Road, beloved of Kerouac and the Beat Gen, has shown (very cool, hip) example by maintaining nightly shows at its Route 66 Drive-In Movie theater in Jaspar, MO, with Miami Dolphins converting their stadium for film shows and Robert De Niro’s Tribeca Drive-Ins operating in many states.

Our entertainment antennae are being tweaked. We lap up visual, virtual televised or electronically-generated media like babes to the bottle. Royal audiences have become a television moment of a tap on the virtual shoulder by a non-corporeal monarch with a (light saber) sword.

Angelic Intervention and Messages from the Stars

Our senses have become heightened by this aloneness. Plus an automatic human response to being caged—escape—to get out into Nature and do more walking, planting, appreciating. World movements have appeared, to plant rescue forests, create community veg and fruit gardens, rewilding abandoned plots and city parks. Cairngorms National Park, largest park in Britain, has committed to revitalising biodiversity and to restoring (near-extinct) Caledonian Pine Forest (rewilding and exclosure plantings) and to Scotland’s looted and damaged peat bogs. Some highland estates have initiated a reduced seasonal game shoot, with fewer acres of heather burn (cover for the grouse), allowing local wildlife to return in natural numbers.

Messages from aloft include December highlight Saturn/Jupiter Great Conjunction, when every planet and asteroid that we know of—plus a few we didn’t imagine—came into alignment in a small quadrant of our (Earth-view) sky, over winter Solstice. While the two giants are separating now, they continue to dominate January skies. Astrologers predict cataclysmic change. Seismic scientists believe this alignment of planetary bodies produces earth-directed energy, similar to the effect of a sunspot maximum when the solar face aims directly at earth: it produces increased volcanic eruption and earthquake movement.

Something like that is happening now—which started on Solstice—in the Halema’uma’u Caldera, a collapsed crater atop Hawai’i’s Kilauea volcano, 4,000ft. Quiet for three decades, goddess Pele chose earth’s shortest day to reawaken a two-year old collapsed shield volcano that had filled with water (60ft deep). Blasting through rock, old petrified magma, and evaporating the water lake in process, Halema’uma’u (and Pele) created a lava lake that is currently changing the local landscape. Watch this space.

Volcano National Park USGS webcam and drone footage of December eruption update to Epiphany, January 6, 2021

Writerly Conclusions—When Life Brings you Lemons, er, Lava—make Lava-ade?

Meanwhile an Epiphany in the (smokey but breathable) writers’ cave, wassup, Doc? Is a new year resolution to keep on keeping on when all around are losing theirs, still valid if the ground we walk on is shifting beneath our feet? In our newfound zeal for restoring the wild, reducing CO2, becoming more in tune with Mother Nature, do we turn the clock back aka horse-drawn-plough? or forward aka book a seat on Space-X?

Roman ingenuity would have known. Ancient advice to the fallen, the wounded, the lost—and the found? Get back on the horse.

©2021 Marian Youngblood


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