1: the curve that a body (as a planet or comet in its orbit or a rocket) describes in space
2: a path, progression, or line of development resembling a physical trajectory <an upward career trajectory>
~from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary Online
Janus sculpture in the Vatican Museum
A new year. An opportunity to take stock, to reflect, and to adjust one’s trajectory. In one sense, this new year is a change of calendar date, nothing more. But symbolically and perhaps tuned to some inner clock within the human race, it is also the moment in which we declare a boundary in time, a stepping over an invisible line between then and now. Janus, the Roman god of gates and doors who presides over all beginnings and transitions, is represented by a two faced head, looking in opposite directions; the month of January is named for him.
I love the idea of adjusting one’s trajectory – small adjustments leading to profound change over distance, in the case of moving objects, or over time, in the case of changing one’s life curve. I know from experience that small adjustments work well for me and now is the time to consider what those adjustments might be. “Dripping water hollows out stone, not through force but through persistence.” (Ovid) The potential for a wonderful year lies before me – I’ve been granted a sabbatical from teaching in the fall and intend to spend most of the coming year in the fields and forests of western Pennsylvania, recording and photographing the fauna and flora for the resource material of my new musical project, A Year in Penn’s Woods, which I introduced in the post Wild Sounds. Building up the stamina and strength required to carry out this ambition is the focus of this year’s resolve. I’ve already begun the adjustments, increasing my yoga practice, walking longer distances, changing some eating habits, and practicing using my camera and recording equipment so that it is second nature to manipulate it without hesitation. Like Janus standing on the threshold of the new year, I can look back and see all the projects that have led me to this new and more ambitious one, and I eagerly look forward to connecting those experiences with the adventure that lies before me.
A special thanks to Kerry of Lightscapes Nature Photography Blog for his year-end gift of the 2012 Blog of the Year Award. (you can read more about the ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award here) Kerry is an extraordinary photographer who generously shares his experience and his adventures in capturing images of the American landscape. His work is exceptional and every post is a “must read” and “must see” experience. The care and attention that he gives his work is an inspiration to me and has challenged me to improve my photography skills to a higher standard. I encourage you to visit Kerry!
Since this is an award that is to be passed on, I nominate Ogee at Gardens for Goldens, “a Memorial Garden to help honor and rescue Golden Retrievers.” Ogee and her colleagues maintain a lovely garden in California as part of their efforts for the rescue of Golden Retriever dogs, whom they heal and place in new homes. Not only is the garden a delight, the stories and images of the dogs strolling through the garden are compelling and heartwarming. Please visit Ogee and enjoy her wonderful and compassionate blog.
Finally, I want to thank all of my readers and followers. Your visits and words of encouragement are bright lights in my daily life, and inspire me to continue to think, to write, and to share. I wish you all the wisdom and patience to live with joy in a world of change.
“I wanted to change the world. But I have found that the only thing one can be sure of changing is oneself.” ― Aldous Huxley
“When people are ready to, they change. They never do it before then, and sometimes they die before they get around to it. You can’t make them change if they don’t want to, just like when they do want to, you can’t stop them.” ― Andy Warhol
A special thanks to goodreads.com for such a wealth of wonderful quotes.