7 January 12020 is Old Rock Day, which we celebrate by looking at old rocks and trying to fathom their history and what they tell us of the past. As William Cowper put it: “Some drill and bore | The solid earth, and from the strata there | Extract a register, by which we learn, | That he who made it, and revealed its date | To Moses, was mistaken in its age.” That’s Cowper for you—he seems to have taken a dim view of all knowledge. If he didn’t have a sense of humor he’d fit right in with the current administration. It’s also traditionally Distaff Day, when women get back to work with their textiles after a holiday break, Pioneer’s Day in Liberia, Festa del Tricolore in Italy, Constitution Day in Ghana, and Victory over Genocide Day in Cambodia. Today is the tenth of Tevet on the old Babylonian calendar still in use among the Jews, and they continue to fast in mourning over the loss of their first temple in 9415 or whenever it really was. (I’m working from memory here.)
I haven’t looked at the news, but I assume it’s still all bad, with Australia on fire, Jakarta under water, and the campaign against the so-called Islamic State disbanded. I’m more concerned about the state of my heart at the moment—today is the day the doctor is going to look at it and decide whether I live or die, or something like that.