What Was It?
Dear old and new friends,
All of us regardless of our age has walked into a room, stopped, and asked, “What was it that I came into the room for?” This small forgetfulness isn’t a sign of early Alzheimer’s, only proof of good brain housekeeping. The act of passing through a doorway into another room to get something can cause our short term memory to go blank.(1) A vacant brain is unusual and uncomfortable since our brain is typically busy with many thoughts, often back to back like rush hour traffic. As busy people with busy minds we typically accept and adjust to this commonly shared affliction of a blank mind.
However, if we desire we can triumph over this affliction using the following practice. The next time you are about to go into another room for this or that, invoke the assistance of the ancient Roman god of the gate of heaven, Janus. He had two faces, one looking backwards and the other facing forward! Along with being the god of heaven’s gate he was the protector guardian of all front and back doorways, and so his name was given to our doorway first month of the calendar, January.
Shocking, invoking a pagan god! Well, I searched through the long list of Christian patron saints beginning with the letter A. There I found Saint Aya, who in the seventh century as a wealthy Belgian widow who bequeathed all her wealth to a convent. Her heirs contested her will in court, and in the trial Aya spoke in defense of her will in a loud, hollow voice from her tomb. Case dismissed! St. Aya is a patroness of lawyers.
Near the end of the list of saints in the Z’s, I found Saint Zita, a thirteenth century domestic servant of the wealthy Fatinelli family. She would be swept up in ecstasy doing her housework and was mystically generous in feeding beggars at the Fatinelli’s front door. Today Saint Zita is the patroness invoked in the search for lost household keys. In searching from A to Z, I didn’t find a single Christian patron or patroness saint for your front or back door, so we’ll invoke saintly Janus.
He can be an excellent patron for making decisions. Janus reminds us to look backwards at our commitments, projects and duties before looking forward and accepting yet another one. Saintly Janus also can insure us that it isn’t rude, sinful, and not a rebuff or a minor act of violence when to a request we wisely say, “No.”