Who Said, “When one door closes another opens”? “So, it’s not just about one door closing and another door opening; it’s about our focus.” “Will we choose to stare at the closed door and miss the open door as it swings wide open?” Did you know the original quote is longer and attributed to Alexander Graham Bell? Let’s open a few more doors and if they’re locked, never rule out a window. “In truth, this quote is about missed opportunities.” “Many people do not like and, therefore, resist change’, that’s what “they” tell us, to believe. “Sometimes, the ambiguity of the change makes it difficult to see beyond.”
“Unlike other months in the calendar, January was not named after a number, but instead after the Latin word for door ianua.” “And unsurprisingly so, January marks the end of the old year and the beginning of the new one, so ancient Romans saw it as the bridge between the past and the future.” “This is also why the patron of the month is the ancient Roman god Janus, the double-headed god of doors, beginnings, endings, and transitions.” “He’s a bit two-faced… literally.” “Janus, depicted as having two faces: one that looks forward and one that looks to the past.” That’s kind of poetic and fitting, isn’t it? “The face looking backward symbolizes the past and the one looking forward symbolizes the future.”
January’s birthstone is the beautiful red garnet. The garnet represents balance. Well-needed for the days going before us. It is also thought to keep the wearer safe during travel. Going back 5000 years or more, through Ancient Egypt, Sutton Hoo, everywhere in between and now the United States, comes from the Latin word for seed. It’s named to resemble the pomegranate seeds. “In Persia this birth gem was considered a talisman (“an object, typically an inscribed ring or stone, that is thought to have magic powers and to bring good luck.”) from nature’s forces like storm and lightning.” “It was widely accepted that garnet could signal approaching danger by turning pale.”
You asked, what exactly is a talisman? Curious like me, and not just a haunted street in Folsom California, but “A talisman is any object ascribed with religious or magical powers intended to protect, heal, or harm individuals for whom they are made.” “Talismans are often portable objects carried on someone in a variety of ways but can also be installed permanently in architecture.” “Talismans are closely linked with amulets, fulfilling many of the same roles, but a key difference is in their form and materiality, with talismans often taking the form of objects like clothing, weaponry, or parchment inscribed with magic texts.”
This is why the “do not touch” signs are so important. Your ignorance may not be bliss, for me anyways. If we’re respectful, more souls would be able to revel their beauty and special meanings. However, just to point out, these relics are usually made with garnet and have huge significance. Meanwhile, the Dianthus caryophyllus is one of two flowers recognized as the official birth-month flower. It comes in many beautiful colors and is the ancestor to the Carnation. “Fancier Latin names are always prettier, though!”
“People in Anglo-Saxon times believed that wolves were highly active in January.” “People heard wolves howling in the full moon winter month of January and feared hungry wolves would reach their doors.” Did anyone let little red riding hood know? It’s a good thing we can now zoom with grandma. New meaning for “hungry like the wolf”! I have stories about wolves, but that’s for another day of writing about fast-food, learning to drive, back roads, illegal negotiations, property damage, and bushwhacking (figuratively, urban slang, and kinda revolutionary).
“January in the Northern Hemisphere is the seasonal equivalent to July in the Southern Hemisphere and vice versa.” “Also, according to the International Standard Organization’s ISO 8601, the first week of every year is the week containing January 4.” And here we are, snowy, cold, and sparked for another year in the digital age and beyond. What will we accomplish? What’s on our horizon?
“Christians celebrate Epiphany on the 6th of January.” “It is a public holiday in various countries such as Austria, Columbia, Greece, Italy, Spain, and Slovakia.” “According to an old belief, three wise men cherished and carried gifts for baby Jesus.” “In Europe, adolescents dress like kings and visit homes.” “There, people greet them with applause, wafers, cookies and more.” “The second celebration was when St. John the Baptist Christianized Jesus.”
January is also popular as a “Divorce Month”. “Lawyers think that most of the couples who are willing to separate file their divorce in the month of January.” “Experts also believe that many wives take advice on divorce in the month of January because of increasing unemployment.” I can’t imagine what that chart spikes too pertaining to this year! This has become a very grim statistic in families all over the world and throughout time. My stipulation is always; to be good to each other, it’s far less expensive.
Benjamin Franklin was born on 17th January 1706. “He is a well-known inventor, scientist, and statesman all over the world.” “Mrs. Silence Dogood was the pen name used by Benjamin Franklin to get his work published in the New-England Courant, a newspaper founded and published by his brother James Franklin.” “This was after Benjamin Franklin was denied several times when he tried to publish letters under his own name in the Courant.” “The 14 Mrs. Silence Dogood letters were first printed in 1722.” “The letters were published in The New-England Courant fortnightly (originally not a video game), and amused readers.” “Some men wrote in offering to marry Ms. Dogood, upon learning she was widowed.” And many of those men’s descendants play Fortnite regularly.
“Eventually, James found out that all fourteen of the letters had been written by his younger brother, which angered him.” They were lengthy and detailed too boot! “Benjamin left his apprenticeship without permission and escaped to Philadelphia.” And the drama didn’t end there; “The Silence Dogood letters were featured in the 2004 movie National Treasure.” “After stealing the United States Declaration of Independence, cryptologist Benjamin Franklin Gates (Nicolas Cage) and Dr. Abigail Chase (Diane Kruger) find an Ottendorf cipher (a cipher in which the key is some aspect of a book or other piece of text) hidden in invisible ink on the back of the Declaration.” “Following the discovery of a Knights Templar riddle which said, “The key in Silence undetected”, a link between the Silence Dogood letters and the cipher is established.” “The cipher is used to find the hidden message in the letters which proves to be another clue.” And were all packed for more adventure, hidden codes, and speculative truths!
According to Wikipedia, “A pseudonym or alias is a fictitious name that a person or group assumes for a particular purpose, which differs from their original or true name (orthonym).” “This also differs from a new name that entirely or legally replaces an individual’s own.” “Most pseudonym holders use pseudonyms because they wish to remain anonymous, but anonymity is difficult to achieve and often fraught with legal issues.”
“Pseudonyms include stage names, usernames, ring names, pen names, nicknames, aliases, superhero or villain identities and code names, gamer identifications, and regnal names of emperors, popes, and other monarchs.” “Historically, they have sometimes taken the form of anagrams, Graecisms, and Latinizations, although there may be many other methods of choosing a pseudonym.”
“Criminals may use aliases, fictitious business names, and dummy corporations (corporate shells) to hide their identity, or to impersonate other persons or entities in order to commit fraud.” “Aliases and fictitious business names used for dummy corporations may become so complex that, in the words of The Washington Post, “getting to the truth requires a walk down a bizarre labyrinth” and multiple government agencies may become involved to uncover the truth.” Good thing I love labyrinths, the mythology, the lore, and the movie!
“Giving a false name to a law enforcement officer is a crime in many jurisdictions; see identity fraud.” Today, there are ample examples before us, that prove a life of crime doesn’t pay. You may not realize the breadcrumbs you leave behind or who you stumble upon in the dark. Also, a great resolution, never dabble in the dark arts or make a dark mark, something along those lines.
“Pseudonyms are often misunderstood, there’s an assumption that people want to hide behind fake names for nefarious reasons.” The data collected and analyzed says otherwise. “It turns out that many respondents who do use pseudonyms do so for privacy reasons, so they can speak openly and honestly in a productive manner.” “Rather than seeing a pseudonym as hiding their identity, people in a research study found that pseudonyms helped them embrace their identity online and speak what’s actually on their mind.” Viva la freedom of speech in this world, the virtual world, and the next world!
“Musicians and singers can use pseudonyms to allow artists to collaborate with artists on other labels while avoiding the need to gain permission from their own labels (just to make matters and more paperwork, confusing), such as the artist Jerry Samuels, who made songs under Napoleon XIV.” “Rock singer-guitarist George Harrison, for example, played guitar on Cream’s song “Badge” using a pseudonym.” “In classical music, some record companies issued recordings under a nom de disque in the 1950s and 1960s to avoid paying royalties.”
Martin Luther King Jr. was born on the 15th of January in 1929. “He was a minister of priests, Nobel peace prize winner and civil rights leader.” “In his words “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”.” Dr Martin Luther King was a strong, poetic, loquacious, and powerful speaker. This day is a national holiday for many institutions. “M.L.’s best friend as a child was a white boy and as children they played happily together.” “When they reached school age the friends found that even though they lived in the same neighborhood, they could not go to the same school or play together ever again.” I have to include his last speech, mainly because it’s relevancy pertaining to today’s climate.
“On April 3rd, 1968, Dr. King would give what would be his last speech”:
“We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn’t matter with me now. Because I have been to the mountaintop. And I don’t mind.
Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now.
I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the promised land.
I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people will get to the promised land. And I’m not fearing any man.
Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.”
“When Martin Luther King Jr. received a Nobel Peace Prize for combating racial inequality through nonviolence, he was just 35 years old, the youngest man at the time to do so.” “From 1957 to 1968, King traveled over 6 million miles and spoke over 2,500 times.” “The civil rights leader was arrested 29 times and assaulted four times.” “His mother was also murdered by a gunman.” “His last public speech foreshadowed his death.” There aren’t enough speeches to start to put into words such an impactful human and we’re left to make new dreams, hopefully peacefully together in harmony. I can dream!
The only Shakespeare plays that mention January are “Much Ado About Nothing” and “Winter’s Tale”. Good to know; “when dedicating January 4th to the most obscure facts you’ve gathered throughout the years on National Trivia Day?” Sounds like a plan for National Nothing Day on January 19. “This is not an official public holiday and was proposed as an un-event only in the US, but nothing stops you from spreading its un-eventful glory wherever you are and whatever you do (or not do).” “Celebrate it the right way, with nothing, whatsoever.” Sounds like a perfect day or month! Cheers to that! And curtains!
“I took no more pains for those thanks than you take
pains to thank me: if it had been painful, I would
not have come.” ….