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2009 – Hoosierati is Back

February 1, 2009

January has come and gone, the month named after Janus, the two-faced Roman god who looks both backward and forward, guarding the doorway to the new year.

Jim, the founder of Hoosierati, has also gone on to new enterprises, and we wish him every good fortune.

Among the festivals of January were New Year’s Day, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Inauguration Day, and the Big Snow. All of these were times to look back (especially on Dr. King’s legacy) and to look ahead because sometimes the only way forward is through. Another myth from classical times tells us that when all the evils of existence are let loose on the world, one thing alone remains in Pandora’s box – hope.

Watching the inauguration of Barack Obama, I was reminded of another winter day when Robert Frost was the first poet to be invited to read his work at the inauguration of an American President. Frost wrote the poem “Dedication” for John F. Kennedy, but the glare of the sun on the snow made it impossible for the elderly man to see the words on the page. Instead, he recited his poem “The Gift Outright,” declaring that we (Americans) gave ourselves to the land, “Such as she was, such as she would become.”

In 2009, the poet Elizabeth Alexander was able to read her offering for another young President, saying in conclusion:
        In today’s sharp sparkle, this winter air,
        any thing can be made, any sentence begun.
        On the brink, on the brim, on the cusp,
        praise song for walking forward in that light.

So the festivals of January are past, and we look ahead to the celebrations of February:  Lincoln’s 200th Birthday, Valentine’s Day, Presidents’ Day, Mardi Gras, Black History Month. (Check out the Indiana Humanities Council’s Resource Connection for learning resources.)

But first, let us pause to observe one of the great American festivals – the Super Bowl. Tomorrow, Groundhog Day.

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