Catherine Jackson: EarnestGirl Chronicles



Reminder from a Wall Calendar

I stood in the calendars and journals corner of Banyen Books – Vancouver’s iconic hub of all things energetically alternative – and berated myself for not finding a kitchen wall calendar sooner. I had waited too long, the year had turned, the old calendar had come down and now the organizational corner of the kitchen felt unmoored. Consequently, so did I.

The problem was that I was trying to find a solution quickly and all that remained of the stock at the end of the first week of January were calendars with zen-like black & white watercolours and vaguely irritating inspirational quotations, the Dali Lama, personal journeys, emotional healing, or monthly mendala calendars. I considered the oversized WWF calendar but the endangered tiger on the cover looked accusatory. I wasn’t sure I could handle him or the Dali Lama reminding me on a daily basis of my inability to save either the world or my own sanity.

All I wanted was to keep track of the school dates, doctor’s appointments, family comings and goings. I was looking for something unobtrusive and functional. Botanical images on recycled paper with enough room to write “shots for dog, 4pm” seemed reasonable, but on this rainy, harried January afternoon, unattainable.

The wall calendar for which I settled, because I was running out of time, because the art was pleasing and the date squares roomy, promised emotional freedom. I rolled my eyes inwardly and figured once I’d paper-clipped the dentist’s reminder cards and ‘next dozen bagels free’ coupons to the calendar, the quotations would be effectively obscured.

January depicts an unfurled lotus flower floating on crowded murk-green lily pads with this quote:

“The path to emotional freedom is the hero’s journey; every choice you make to triumph over negativity, large or small, is about transforming energy. The potent nature of such ongoing transformation makes you stronger, brighter, and more resilient, which in turns acts to illuminate the world.”

Several times this week as I have been running between the to-dos, momentarily poised in the kitchen with phone, keyboard, various demands ringing in my ears and tugging at my emotions I have stopped, eyes resting on the text next to the soft-focus lotus, and reconsidered my next reaction.

Funny how life sometimes gives you exactly what you need.