A New Year of Poetry

2022 ended with a milestone. I published my 400th poem on Patreon.

If you’d like to see them, goto http://patreon.com/williamwaynesmith

I plan to continue the series for 2023 starting with “401. Bounce.”

I think you would enjoy reading them. A subscription on the Patreon is $1/month which includes poetry that I haven’t released anywhere else as well as open access poetry.

Letting Go

My address book grows and shrinks.

Sometimes I’m adding new contacts as I expand my social circle. At other times I’m removing people that I don’t have a connection with anymore.

Being social, it’s uncomfortable to remove people from the list. A lesser loss is when I remove a thread from my texting app. In that case, the connection is still there, but only tenuously. People that don’t have a thread going can be forgotten and the relationship that is already withering might finally die.

A sadder removal from the contacts and address book happens when someone I know has passed. When I remove them, the memories will fade, and I will think of them less and less. Perhaps, it’s a way that I can honor their memory by leaving them in the list. For special people, I might want to keep them listed as a sort of memorial.

My paper address book has six names per page. When all of the addresses aren’t valid anymore, I can take it out and discard it. It’s another way to let go of memories. The paper form is more permanent than a list in a phone but eventually the information gets out of date and people leave my life.

Letting go of people can be solidified by a funeral or ceremony. For a few friends that I lost track of over the years, I found out later that they’ve passed on. It makes me sad that I didn’t find out until years later.

I don’t want to let go of people with the same attitude that I have when I’m throwing away a dried-up pen. I think people deserve more consideration than that which is part of why ghosting seems malevolent to me. However, putting a piece of paper in the trash and removing the information from my phone can be just as easy.

Letting go is a transition that can take many forms. Loss is a part of the human condition and having fond memories of someone can make the loss feel meaningful.

The Wildcard Day

52 weeks works out to be 364 days. Since a calendar year has 365 or 366 days, one could replace the current calendar with one that has one day a year denoted as a wildcard that won’t have a day of the week. That would make the weeks line up the same every year.

If the change would be made next year, this is what the calendar would look like for February and March, (as it would every year going forward.)

Instead of February 28 being a Tuesday, it has no day of the week anymore. The next day, March 1, takes the opened-up Tuesday slot. Every other day after that shifts left a day. On a leap year, the 29th would also have no day of the week.

From March 2023 to February 2024, an old-style Wednesday would be a Tuesday. From March 2024 to February 2025, the old Wednesday would be Sunday. It would continue from year to year that the day of the week would be altered by varying amounts.

The biggest advantage of this arrangement is that the same calendar could be used every year.

That’s pretty much the only advantage.

Federal holidays would get frozen on a specific day of the year. That would be nice because the holidays shifted to Monday would be consistent. But, if a holiday’s natural date now ends up on Wednesday every year, it would be messy for picking how to assign the paid day off.

Problems will show up really quickly. In addition to the Gregorian calendar, there are other calendars in common use such as the calendar used in Islamic countries and the Hebrew calendar. They won’t line up with the new calendar directly. Awildcard day would not fit consistently. If some arrangement could not be made, different calendars would give the same date different days of the week.

I don’t think an arrangement could be made, but it’s an idea. So far, not a good idea, but still an idea.

The next problem is that holidays that appear on a specific day of the week but not the same date would be hard to compute. There’s a formula to calculate the date of Easter and related special days. It would quit working. Easter is on a different week each year, but always on Sunday, so the week might be hard to form a consensus over.

Also, that defeats the goal of being able to use the same calendar every year.

The Hebrew calendar is very carefully designed so that special days, as appropriate, are on the sabbath or not on the sabbath automatically. That precision would be ruined.

The computer algorithms for day of the week would go up in smoke too. Date calculations start by counting the number of days from an epoch date, often January 1, 1970. One takes that count and reduce it modulo seven to get the day of the week. Breaking that rule would make the Y2K bug seem mild by comparison.

Honestly, the problems caused by this idea overwhelmingly make it infeasible to follow. It’s a simple idea that isn’t compatible with life as we know it.

But…. maybe we could make April 1 as the wild card day just once to see if we like it???