Recently Amazon addressed me as a person “who had shown an interest in calendars in the past” – I don’t think they’re reading my blog or my mind, but they’re right.
Calendars encourage time management – that business term – they organize the expanse of time into those boxes, that grid of days we are lucky to have to fill. To “calendar” a project is surely the first step – planning how long, planning when.
Kenneth Atchity wrote “A Writer’s Time” about organizing time for creative work (and the upcoming month is a big creative project). He says, “No time is more important than the time used to examine and schedule your time.” That calls for a calendar.
He also writes: “The first step marries desire with will – saying, “I will do it!” The commitment of your will is the true beginning of creation, the necessary ingredient of productivity – without it, creation will remain only a dream.”
This time of year lights and music and color distract from the dark weather, and I love connecting with old friends by mailing cards and thinking about how to please people with presents. But it is challenging to figure out how to add all that into already full lives. (The young mother of two recently sent me a striking card she made in six two or three-minute segments – so it can be done.)
For a longer term project, connecting “desire and will” often means writing it on the calendar.
Calendars make great presents – especially handmade calendars. I like the teeny, tiny calendars that businesses give away – with plastic sticky or magnetic tops displaying ads for car repair or real estate. Those little calendars hold some memory of childhood, when my sister and I would glue them to cardboard to decorate for our parents. (I was thrilled to see once a picture of a similar calendar Vita Sackville West made for Virginia Woolf – tiny calendar glued under a photo of Vita’s tower.)
My painter friend and I have exchanged calendars (or handmade books) at Christmas for many years in a cherished tradition. Pictures and drawings of our families and work, quotes and notes – the imagery can be complex but the date grids have devolved to the little squares pirated from bigger calendars (assuring the dates will be right). Calendars from past years hang on each of our studio walls, and we flip them in a changing of the month ritual – enjoying the timeless images, ignoring the out-of-date calendar block.
Committing to the calendar year was an overall organizing principle for “Her spirits rose….” I draw a month-at-a-time rough calendar, for thinking about the blog, and begin to fill in the blanks (in pencil) with ideas for possible subjects. It’s hard to believe I’m nearing the end of a whole year – but the proof’s right here – on my calendar!