July 1, 2007
I said July . . . you’ll love me more beneath the sun.
— Rod McKuen, b. 1933
American poet, singer, and composer
In a recent Newsweek quiz about general cultural knowledge that I took, I was able to give the current year in the Jewish calendar because I had a Jewish boyfriend my second year in college and I remembered that Rosh Hashanah in 1966 turned to 5727. Add forty (it’s been forty years??) and here we are in 5767. (In the same quiz, however, I could not give the name of the current winner on American Idol. I still don’t know it, having forgotten it in the several hours since I took the quiz.)
My life is informed by several different calendars, including the Common Era world calendar that begins on January 1 and says that today we are halfway through 2007. Each March I enter a new year of my age, each August a new year of my marriage. But the one that drives most of my planning is the academic calendar, even though I have been out of the classroom for nine years. According to that method of reckoning time, a “year” begins in very late August, ends in early June, and has about twelve weeks called “the summer” that seem to float, attached neither to the year that has ended nor the one about to begin.
I keep track of my life in two Mead products, an Upper Class monthly calendar book in which I mark appointments and due dates,, and a weekly planner that I use as a productivity diary of my reading and writing. The calendar begins in July, and this morning I transferred all the information for the next year from the old calendar and decorated the cover.
At left you see the front and the back of my 2007-2008 appointment book. I’ve been using most of the same decorations for a number of years. The postcard at the top of the front is of The Gates, an installation by artists Christo and Jean-Claude in New York’s Central Park that I went to see in February of 2005. I was sliding into a depression then, and the trip shook me out of it, setting me on the path to planning and undertaking my trip to Wyoming four months later. The orange fabric became “the flag of my disposition,” and I obtained a small sample of it, included in the lower right corner. At the left edge below the postcard is Lynn’s high school graduation picture, taken four years ago. The ONE badge is something new, placed to remind myself of my commitment to this campaign to fight extreme poverty and hunger. On the back I keep a picture I took in 2003 of Bread Loaf Mountain as seen from the mountain campus where I go each year for the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, as well as a picture I took in 2005 in the Vedauwoo area of Medicine Bow National Forest in Wyoming. Among the many natural rock formations was one that looked to me like a turtle, long a personal symbol of my gallivanting.
My new calendar book is neat, with no cracks along the spine of the smooth plastic cover nor pages beginning to separate at the staples from so much turning. July has few notations just yet. August has the Bread Loaf dates marked, September and October have the dates of the field hockey games of Lynn’s last season, and November and December are blocked out with my sojourn at Jentel in Wyoming. I opened a new notebook for my paper journal this morning, having filled 150 pages already in this incredibly productive year.
I said July. The writing prompt for this day from the Judy Reeves book I use is “the possibilities are endless.”
Oh yes they are.