Looking forward, looking backward

For one of my next writing groups, the topic to write about, in any way we want is Janus. Janus was the Roman god or animistic spirit of doorways (januae), archways (jani). entrances and exits, ways in and ways out, moving forward, looking backwards, change, passing, duality, the past and the future.

Janus presided over the beginning and ending of conflict, and hence war and peace…. As a god of transitions, he had functions pertaining to birth and to journeys and exchange…

This should give us plenty to write about! Janus is supposed to have given the name to January, just as other Roman gods names became associated with other months; however this is now questioned and maybe Janus was just the name. However, as January is the first month of the new year, this does seem to tie in with the idea of beginnings and going forward, with a glance over the shoulder to the previous year.

Because my birthday is in January I’m always very positive about the month, and when people moan about it and say how dull it is coming after Christmas, and after new year’s day it’s got nothing to recommend it, I always defend my month – it’s time for celebration, but also it is significant to me because of the Janus aspect.

When I was young there was a TV series called ‘The mask of Janus’ which was a political thriller series set in an imaginary country called Amalia. It starred Dinsdale Landen as Richard Cadell, Simon Oates as Anthony Kelly , Peter Dyneley and Hamilton Dyce. It seems however to have vanished without trace in terms of videos or the title music which i remember as being quite striking. The plots were always gripping and although there was plenty of action there was political intrigue and mystery.

I wonder what I shall write about Janus… the idea was my suggestion so I feel as if I must make an effort to do something original, and thinking of the mask of Janus, intriguing!


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