…more about the calendar

I have been asked to say more about the calendar, beyond what is already written on the web.
I, too, am often curious about the processes that lead to the creation of things (or thoughts) that I like and that attract me. 
We all create objects, or environments all the time… we compose, more or less complex, more or less planned, and for needs that are partly obvious and assumed, partly, as we know, unknown to us or not aware of, or at least, not constantly in the foreground. 

This calender is a small thing, pretty unplanned, very personal, quite experimental, soft and virtual as much as it comes out of relationships, thoughts, feelings and readings that have been in me in the while, and out of tools and other objects that I use.

It’s not out of distrust or suspicion, but I know that storytelling with written words is another aspect of the life of something, transforming it, communicating it with the expectations of the writer or the reader, the speaker or the listener…it has to be done spontaneously and with care! 
Here is one try.

The calendar.

really, two are the triggering reasons, or more plausible causes, if we allow ourselves to superficially reduce the truth to the bone:

1- I don’t like the calendars in general, aesthetically there is always something wrong (if not everything), and yet I need them.

2- I had made a commitment to layout a book of photographs and in order to practice on the software, and as a true beginner, I thought of making myself a calendar.  Naively, I thought I could finish it in a short time…the first digital version spanned august 21 to july 22, and I thought that that was it.

It had to be beautiful, of course, and yes, there was a little desire to unhinge the concept of the weekend; this sort of idea…. born out of a dialogue on the subject which I had enjoyed. A short playful dialogue with an Irish friend that yet expressed tastes and disgust for a certain nomenclature, in English and in Italian, and above all, a shared impatience or estrangement or detachment, in fact, from the inexorable succession of weekends, imposed and taken for granted.

So I began with a license on the grid, the inexorable weekends dislocated, a count by fortnight, the moons …  but I could not exaggerate… I still needed a calendar …. and it could certainly not be a new grid to solve my problem of taste for time (and freedom) : I entrusted that task to images and poetry.

The images and words of Penny Rimbaud.

Who is Penny? (Who am I?)

He was born in 1943, he has done so many things. He first appeared to me as a voice, on The Bloody Beetroots’ Hide record. He lives at Dial House, England, speaks and writes English, has been writing aphorisms for several years and posts them on twitter accompanied by images.

He composes music. (Oli Records)

The images, he described to me as I was asking , are photographs “of street minutiae, little scraps of paper, peeling paint, crumbling plaster all processed on my pocket-size Panasonic Lumix”. He has been creating a book containing 365 of his ‘lockdown’ tweets which also contains the images.

For a few months, maybe two years now, I had been translating some of his lyrics and gradually all the aphorisms I found until I kept updated: it was and is a way to read carefully, an exercise and an activity that makes me feel good.
For me, who looks at a lot of black and white photography, the images were real dips into other worlds. I started to print them in various ways on my precious papers, in cut-outs and on large pages. 
With these elements, the translations and then the prints, I started a correspondence with Penny, without a specific purpose, with gratitude. 

It was the natural thing for me to play with Penny’s images and words for “my” calendar.

About the choice of theme… Ah, time!  What can I say?

Yes, it is about time…quite natural for a calendar, but it is also about words, and about the symbiosis and the faith in ourselves, and about my believe that to think and see and do things with love and to share beauty can make us stronger, or softer, depending on our needs.

I also think a bit about how, at one point, at the beginning of the Pandemic, it was common to count days since the lockdown, therefore the date was different in each country depending on the arrival of the virus.

Our aesthetics, sensation, nomenclature, (of time) defines us and originates from us.  

But time, how is it?  Or, to quote Penny once more, if time passes, where does it go? :)

To really try to tell more.... here below I listed the quoted aphorisms, in their full version (and multiple versions).

COVER Ah, time the transporter, time the thief, time the ruination, time the relic of a forgotten past and a non-existent future. I the crow, risen on the thermals, stripping apart dualities. I the abbreviation. /

Time stands, the date is set, yet we fly in the void before and after which is the abbreviation, the away that is ours and is all.

JANUARY Toe the line if you will, but never forget that it is a tightrope across a magnificent void.

FEBRUARYWhat is silence but confirmation of presence? Or emptiness a confirmation of essence? We dance the wind, float the sky, enchant the rainbow. Not complex, we.

MARCH Each twist and turn, each misery and joy, we stand face to face with ourselves. There is no turning away, no escape. Then most surely, let us come to know that self, wordless in its emptiness, that at last its true potential may be realised. Beyond our conceits, a love supreme /

Each day we rise again, blessed with choice. Then are we victims of circumstance or the very creator? Where the verse of poetics? Where the curse of ill-omen? Oh, how delicate the balance; us alone within a love supreme. /

Who are you? The asker? The asked? The masker? The masked? Nothing before. Never again. The emptiness of being. A love supreme. /

The symbiosis melts us towards balance; a love supreme. As bit players in this great magnificence we soothe the horrors, each and every doing their best (even when that best might not be to our agreement). One in sorrow, one in joy; the tumultuous insanity of the material world. /

Nor ever doubt the silent wonder of being; the divine presence of a love supreme which is the dawn and dusk also. The blackbird sings and we are carried away through the darkness to a greater light. Alone beyond the follies of hope, we exist together, static and entire.

APRIL The material world is an inside outism; inner thoughts applied to create the illusion of outer realities. Backward thinking, but running away from what? Stop and you’re already there.

MAY Infinity has no horizon. There is no point of view, nor time to waste looking for one./ Expectation is a barbed wire fence. Acceptance melts boundaries, but please note that there are no horizons. Beyond definition we are free to roam.

JUNE The mind is an imagining yet imagining is not the mind. Nothing is absolute to itself yet everything is by nature absolute. The black cat observes the swaying summer grass. The symbiosis is ever complete./

Regardless of any given narrative, the symbiosis will not be defied. It is as it is because we are as we are, entire. Yes, changes happen, but only to be incorporated within the whole. The nets are many, but swallows will find their way to the Nile. We also have our rivers /

JULY Innocence is never lost, but is merely obscured by the sociopathics of gross materialism. Then how profound the beauty of forgetfulness and the balm of unknowingness. It is in the undoing that it is done.

We wait in our invisibility, sip coffee as Sartre sits by at the next table, blowing smoke. We ignore him. Move when necessary, and not a moment before. The great art of undoing 

AUGUST If words were arms to better enfold, then perhaps… or if just once we knew the stoppedness and were sure of it. We weave daisy chains to embolden night, then claim we never knew. Freedom is release, total embrace, no give, no take, just a love entire. Clouds gather – we too.

SEPTEMBER Begin right now and continue beginning. No past, no future, there’s no end to it.

OCTOBER More now than ever has been known, we are globally held together in our aloneness. When doing becomes restricted, we are faced with the greater measure of being, profound in its potential. Taking time out takes out time; infinities await.

Clouds break. Rain falls. The river flows to the sea. Here is nowhere and now never is.

NOVEMBER Knowledge separates from the known. Possession counters relationship. Hope burns bridges. Form steals form. Matter isn’t matter. Totality is the zero point of infinity. There never was a return. Love is the making.

DECEMBER (missing direct source at the moment). We blink and the doors open.

DEDICATION PAGE Our love of life is total. Everything we do is an expression of that. Everything we write is a love song.

I: Il nostro amore per la vita è totale. Tutto ciò che facciamo esprime amore. Tutto quello che scriviamo non è altro che una canzone d’amore.

F: Notre amour pour la vie est total. Tout ce que nous faisons exprime l’amour. Tout ce que nous écrivons n’est autre qu’une chanson d’amour


Mi è stato chiesto di dire di più sul calendario, oltre quello già scritto sul web.

Anche io sono spesso curiosa di conoscere i processi che portano alla creazione di cose (o pensieri) che mi piacciono e mi attirano. 

Non è per sfiducia o per sospetto, ma so che la narrazione con parole scritte è un altro step del processo di qualcosa, che la trasforma, la adegua alle aspettative di chi scrive o chi legge, chi parla o chi ascolta…va fatta spontaneamente e con cura! 

Eccone una…

Creiamo oggetti, o ambienti, tutti lo facciamo, in continuazione…più o meno complessi, più o meno progettuali, e per esigenze in parte evidenti e scontate, in parte , come si sa, a noi sconosciute o inconsapevoli o quanto meno non costantemente in primo piano.

Il calendario…

davvero, due i motivi scatenanti, o cause più plausibili, a voler ridurre superficialmente la verità all’osso:  1- non mi piacciono i calendari che ho, esteticamente c’è sempre qualcosa che non va (se non tutto), e eppure ne ho bisogno anche più della media perchè non memorizzo affatto le date. 2- avevo preso l’impegno di impaginare un libro di fotografie e per esercitarmi e da vera principiante, ho pensato di farmi un calendario. Ingenuamente, credevo di poterlo finire in poco tempo…

Doveva essere bello ovviamente e sì, c’era la voglia di scardinare il concetto di week end; un’idea così…nata da un dialogo sul tema che mi aveva divertito. Un dialogo giocoso che esprimeva gusti e disgusti per una certa nomenclatura, in inglese e in italiano, e soprattutto una condivisa insofferenza o estrenazione o distacco, infatti, dal susseguirsi inesorabile dei week end, imposto e scontato.

Ho iniziato quindi con una licenza sulla griglia, l’inesorabile week end dislocato, un conteggio per quindicine, le lune, ma non ho esagerato…non poteva essere una nuova griglia a risolvere il mio problema di gusto del tempo: quel compito l’ho affidato alle immagini e alla poesia.

Le immagini di Penny Rimbaud.

Chi è Penny? (Chi sono io?)

E’ nato nel 1943, ha fatto davvero tante cose. A me è apparso prima come voce, nel disco Hide di The Bloody Beetroots. Vive a Dial House, England, parla e scrive inglese, da diversi anni scrive aforismi e li pubblica su twitter accompagnati da queste immagini.

Compone musica. 

Le immagini, mi ha detto, sono fotografie, “di minuzie di strada, piccoli pezzi di carta, vernice scrostata, intonaco fatiscente, tutto elaborato con la mia Panasonic Lumix tascabile”. Ha creato un libro contenente 365 dei suoi tweet “del lockdown” che contiene anche le immagini.

Da qualche mese, forse due anni, avevo iniziato a tradurre alcune liriche e piano piano tutti gli aforismi fino a stare al passo: era un modo per leggere con attenzione, un esercizio e una attività che mi faceva stare bene.

Le immagini erano per me, che guardo tanta fotografia in bianco e nero, dei veri tuffi in altri mondi. Ho iniziato a stamparle in vari modi sulle mie carte preziose, nei ritagli e in grandi pagine. 

Con questi elementi, le traduzioni e poi le stampe, ho iniziato una corrispondenza con Penny, senza uno scopo preciso, con gratitudine.

La scelta del tema…il tempo. Che dire?

Sì, è sul tempo… abbastanza naturale per un calendario, ma il tema sono anche le parole, e la simbiosi e la fiducia in noi stessi, e la mia convinzione che pensare e vedere e fare le cose con amore e condividere bellezza può renderci più forti, o più morbidi, a seconda dei nostri bisogni.

Penso anche un po’ a come, a un certo punto, all’inizio della Pandemia, era frequente contare i giorni dall’inizio del lock down, la data era diversa in ogni paese a seconda dell’arrivo del virus.

La nostra estetica, sensazione, nomenclatura, del tempo ci definisce e nasce da noi.  Ma il tempo… com’è? o per citare ancora, se il tempo passa, dove va? :)

Non oso mettere le traduzioni degli aforismi che ho copiato (sopra) nelle loro versioni intere o multiple.