The Cumberland Post

The Cumberland Post
My Backyard, Six Miles from the Cumberland River

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Desk Calendar Ritual

Note: Some readers might perceive this as a "downer" post. I don't. To me it's an incentive to get my ass in gear and get busy with the things I want to get done.

A week ago I came across an old journal I kept in 1980. If you're sometimes struck by the rapidity of passing time, the first entry I made in that journal might be of interest to you.

The journal entry had to do with desk calendars. Do you remember those desk calendars you used to have, the kind that had a stack of replaceable pages with a page for every date? Ours looked a little like the one to the right, except it had lines and times so you could specify appointment times, etc.

They were ugly brown plastic things which had two shiny bent over rod-like affairs in the center that kept all the pages together so you could flip a page over as each day passed. Or, if you wanted to check back and see if you had actually met with someone on a certain day last week, you could flip them back page by page until you came to the date you were looking for.

Do you also remember every January at the first of the year you'd stop by the supply room and get a box of replacement pages for the new year? You would remove the old set of pages from the previous year, discard them, and put in a brand new set.

Thirty two years have passed now, and the words I wrote in my old journal have even more meaning to me now than they did back in 1980.

Desk Calendar Ritual

I hold these exhausted days in my hand,
Then let them fall down and away,
Some spin like dervishes,
Some plummet straight like stones.

They are now Time's refuse,
Disordered, but still together,
Loosed, but still bound in memory.
They are now and forever no more.

I open the new box of days.
They are, as yet, unmarked, clean,
And, as usual, they seem infinite,
Almost an eternity, but I know different.

Today's song: "September Song," Willie Nelson


  1. A most appropriate tune for the post.

    Apropos o' nuthin'... I saved a couple o' Daytimers from my working life and it's great good fun to go back and look at some of that shi'ite. The fun comes in when you realize how banal life REALLY was even though it seemed exciting at the time.

  2. Kind of reminds me of a favorite of the minister's who used to use it in their funeral sermons!
    Job chapter 14, vs 1 and 2.

  3. Buck, You're so right. Things that seemed sooo important then, barely even register today.

  4. Ed, Yup. Job and Eccles. are my favorite books of the OT. Life is short. Better grab it while you can.

    I guess you must've heard about a ton of those sermons over the years.

  5. Dan, heard so many it turned me into the agnostic I am today!!