I’ve wanted to make a calendar for myself for a long time. Back when I was a landscape artist in Northern B.C. Canada, I spent hours and hours working on a calendar design that would show one of my seasonal paintings each month. But, I didn’t want it to be a simple date/month calendar. You see, the stars, and in particular the planets, are super clear on the cold crisp winter nights. Inspired by my readings of Aztec and Mayan traditions, I really wanted my calendar to capture their cycles.
Alas, using the traditional square, flip, calendar design, I just couldn’t get it to work! I let the project go, and moved on.
But the desire never departed!
Last year, after late night conversation with my friend Mel about the way our conceptions of time affect the way we live our lives, I was inspired to return to the intention. I was convinced more than ever, that our square, linear calendars were missing something important– and consequent our living. As I’ve delved deep into ecological ethics this year– which is essentially all about syncing with cycles– I became yet more determined to figure this out how to sync my calendar with the solar cycles.
Mel had given me some key ideas for reworking the year into a circular presentation. A method of portraying the flow of the Earth’s cyclical relationship with the other planets became clear. She challenged me to de-emphasize our rather contrived start and end of the year, and instead prioritize the equinoxes and solstices. After these are connected directly to our spin around the sun.
Circular calendars aren’t new. They’ve been around since Stone Henge! However, I am really excited about this design that I am building. By focus on cycles, and syncing with the solar systems flow, the circular context can hold a tremendous amount of interesting, valuable information about the year. Most importantly, like the ancient calendars of the Aztecs and Mayans, it takes our awareness above and beyond the cycles of our own planet!
This happens to sync with my delve into ecological ethics: seeing the Earth’s place in our solar system is fundamental to appreciating and discerning what is happening here.
I am excited to print it big, put a clock into the center, and hang it on my wall for 2021.
Rather than featuring art, the calendar can be the art itself. 🙂