Leap

We leap every fourth year to avoid Christmas in July? What would be wrong with that?

Social life requires the reliability of a consistent calendar. Academic scheduling requires it. The Almanac requires it.

But wouldn’t it be an interesting psychology and sociology experiment, if we all just started marking off our days one by one like prisoners awaiting their release? We might, like prisoners, resent each new day as an obstacle to our freedom. Or we might welcome it as a step in the right direction.

We might come to think of each day as unique, in the Emersonian “days are gods” sense, and be more open to Michael Sandel’s “unbidden”. We might be more receptive and spontaneous, less structured and controlling. More in touch with our subjectivity, less in harness to the objective demands of the public world. Leap day is a good day to think about Kierkegaard.

Each day might really be a new beginning.

We’d stop celebrating one another compulsorily every 365th day. We’d more accurately recognize every day as a birthday, a potential party-&-gift occasion. Possibly we’d not take the present so much for granted.

And I’d eat more cake.

6:00/6:20, 50/64/47

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