Friday, March 16, 2018

making my calendar a prayer...

Earlier this week I owned the reality that I am a techno-dinosaur. I can make a few early 21st century devices (love/hate that word) work - things like parts of my I Phone, an outdated version of Power Point and a few gizmos on the dying surround sound system that supports our 2000 TV set - but I find I am lost without a hard copy calendar. Yeah, yeah I know that the Google calendar I use on my phone is nifty and new. It is always up to date, blah, blah, blah. But like the tactile experience of reading a REAL newspaper, it helps me stay connected when I write dates, appointments and commitments down in a calendar that exists in real time.

I have been thinking about making my own for a few weeks. We have a beautiful one our daughter created for Christmas using her own glorious photos from her various adventures. I have neither the skill nor the interest in re-inventing that wheel. No, what I have wanted is: 1) something that shows me the whole month on one page; 2) space in each date for me to write down essential appointments; 3) room to post liturgical notes (I want to use this to help me stay grounded in the seasons of the church); and 4) pockets and paper for stray notes, printed prayers, etc. Two days ago, I found a decent calendar template and printed it to create my own Events and Prayers 2018 calendar. 

Three personal printed resources I have included in this calendar are: 1) a listing of all the daily lectionary readings for Lent - Pentecost; 2) Jean Vanier's "The Way of the Cross" liturgy to be used on Maundy Thursday; and 3) hand written reminders on key dates for wedding anniversaries, birthdays and holy days of obligation. I was also able to add my all time favorite icon, The Theotokos of Vladimir, as a cover. For some reason, having this calendar is reassuring. It is almost like having my prayer beads in my pocket or reading the Psalms from my beat-up Book of Common Prayer. I think it also helps me honor the dates when I make the effort to pay attention and write them in my own hand.

In an era that labels some of my favorite musical performers "vintage acts" and moves so fast I sometimes forget what day it is, this little handmade calendar is a quiet alternative. It is my small way of reclaiming some quiet and space - in returning and rest ye shall experience renewal as the prophet Isaiah sang - and this helps me withdraw from the hustle to doodle, jot down ideas I'm apt to forget, mark important commitments and events, so that I am consciously prayerful. Like the guy on the new "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" showing good old boys how to make homemade exfoliants from coconut oil and sugar. I need the tactile reality of this little resource - and my own handwriting, too.

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a spirituality of l'arche - part five

NOTE: I thought I would finish this series up earlier this week but on my way to some commitments, as John Lennon used to say, life happened...