On the Novelty of Months

It’s a new month, and a short one at that.

I enjoy these firsts of the month—possibly more than I enjoy the firsts of the year. The blank canvas of a new year is more than a little daunting with the magnitude of its purity. The blank canvas of a new month is far less intimidating, like an unused page torn from a bargain sale sketchbook. It renders the task of (re-)creating our lives a little less grandiose, a little more manageable, and certainly more amenable to false starts, occasional erasures, and even the random spill of ink.

In short, the promise held by a new month seems infinitely more forgiving.


The older I get, the more absolution seems like a principal virtue. Faith, hope and love—don’t these theological virtues rely on an ability to untether ourselves from the disappointment engendered by our constant falls from grace? Karma means that we live our lives in ruts: we spiral endlessly around the same beginnings, commit the same mistakes in different orders of magnitude, push our Sisyphean rocks up countless untold hills. The tiresome repetitiveness of our failings makes forgiveness even more essential. Perhaps learning forgiveness is all there really is.

That, and perhaps, humor.


I’m now reading my third Haruki Murakami book. This one is better than the first and second combined, though that might not be saying much. Murakami is highly allusive; getting one of his jokes feels like an intellectual achievement. Reading him is therefore an exercise in humor and forgiveness. I’ve already decided that I’m going to read all of his works (assuming I can do it for free) because it seems to me that the worst is over. Also, for some bizarre reason, reading him makes me want to write, and I didn’t do much writing in January (a Sisyphean failing for which I have to forgive myself).

So yes, welcome new month. Welcome February.


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