I built a calendar today on a bulletin board. I made it so you can see an entire six-week grading period at once and then rip a layer off of each day to reveal the next six weeks. The calendar is color-coded by week using the same color paper I use each week in class. Week one = pink, and so on. Though the calendar is new, the color-coding system isn’t. The system is brilliant.
As I was pinning up the big colored squares, predated three layers deep (that took nearly more brain power than I had at the time), I thought about time and how I was arranging it, looking at it while literally holding it in my hands. And I thought about how, aside from their colors and the numbers written on them, all of those squares were the same. I thought about squares gone by and how every day of my life I expected the following days to lead up to something grand. In a lot of ways they have, but mostly the days have been the same. The sun goes up and moves across the sky and goes back down the other side. The sun has been doing that for probably billions of years. I say probably because I hadn’t been there to witness essentially any of it. I say probably because I know almost nothing about geology and trust that almost everything I was taught in school is true. A dangerous choice.
And I thought about how I make goals for myself, goals to be realized in the future, something that never gets here.
I’ve thought about the statics and dynamics of time before, a bunch of times, but I’ve never kept the thought alive for too long. I get caught up in the days and before I realize it, a thousand Fridays have passed by and all the time between those Fridays is a blur. Like making a really, really slow thumb print.
But I put a dent in time today: I reached a goal. I finally made that calendar. The idea of my living timepiece has been swirling in my head for several weeks, and today the future became the now and the idea is hanging on a wall instead of in my head. I sort of made the future tangible. Gave my eyes a glimpse of it at least. I made square placeholders for the real thing. I created visible potential from an abstract idea.
This here is a visible construct of the past. Not tangible, really, but not abstract, either. It’s a calendar in reverse. An echo.