I wrote this post almost a year ago. Now here we are on the cusp of 2019 and the world is looking a slightly dodgier place. Excesses of Trump, war torn Syria, strife in Yemen, climate breakdown, and closer to home, Brexit.
The two faces of Janus could fit neatly into the “looking backward, looking forward” of the title when juxtaposed against the widening rift between those who voted to leave the EU and those who wish to remain.
I can personally look back and remember times were hard, challenging and not flush with the comparative luxuries we’ve become accustomed to for the last 40+ years since joining the EU. I don’t wish the post-war 1950s on anyone; I grew up in bombed London. Yet sad to say there is still plenty of comparable hardship around.
The words I wrote a year ago about the “looking forward” aspect of Janus – The face turned towards the future would be seeking out the new; a clean slate waiting to be drawn upon in creative, innovative ways – offer some small hope that those in positions of power, our MPs and government, might create a totally new appraoch to solving the divisive Brexit issue which makes our country a laughing stock.
Looking forward, at this point, is like wading into thick cloud; nobody knows what’s going to happen.
I guess it all depends on where you’re at in the month of January. Maybe the looking backwards has already been done at the turning of the year and looking forward to the year ahead has already begun.
January is named after the Roman god Janus, here in this statue in Vienna looking a bit grim and definitely two-faced as he surveys what’s behind him with a serious face. Yet looking forward into the eyes of Bellona, goddess of war, there’s a gentleness and softness to his features. Could he be trying to defuse a difficult situation? Trump claiming his big red button was bigger than Kim’s comes to mind.
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