The Calendar And The Roller Coaster


The pages flip by one by one. When we tell our children and grandchildren about the days of books and magazines, we'll describe to them how calendars were once made of paper, which cultures used for many centuries as a well-loved version 2.0 of papyrus. You would turn the pages and the turning would be a metaphor, a realization of the passing of time. Some calendars you'd flip every day, some just once a month. You would write little reminders of what you had to do each day with a pen or a pencil. Pencils had to be sharpened with a hand-cranked tool that was specially made for the purpose, or you could just use a knife to sharpen it, like people did with sticks to help make fires. When people felt like an appointment was approaching, they would consult their watches, which were small mechanical devices often strapped with a leather band and metal buckle to their wrists, then make their way to the appointment.

The pages do flip one by one. Seems like we slide down a fast slope to Christmas as soon as the Labor Day grill smoke clears the air. I've already been wished happy holidays (yes, those holidays) and been unable to purchase swim floats because Christmas displays had displaced them. The march of the calendar, which has always seemed inexorable, now seems a little faster. The slow ratcheting up the big hill of the roller coaster is over and now we hover, perched with expectancy of the weightless descent.

And then there is the Big calendar and the Big roller coaster, but I'll save ruminations of those for some other time.