Sunday, October 07, 2012

2013 Calendar

   After years of feeling passionate about each day, caring about what I was doing, how I was living, and the people with whom I was interacting in Ghana, I came to DC to join the SMA formation team. I soon found myself feeling empty, missing life, distant from people, choosing to be distant from God, and unable and unwilling to talk about it to anyone.  (I already wrote about this a couple of blog updates ago.)  This went on for several months until I went to a workshop for people who were back from having lived in “the missions”.  I never imagined I’d go to group therapy, but if I ever do,I hope it will be like that weekend’s workshop.  Late one night while at the workshop, a few of us shared pictures—it was the first time I looked at any of the pictures since I’d been back.  

   Every story came back to me, every person pictured came to life for me again, and I felt ready to look, to face the memories and the life I chose to give up to come back to the US.  I decided to honor the people and the country that have touched my life so deeply, that have played such a major role in shaping me, and that I miss and care for.  I began to set aside pictures that had feelings I wanted to share –  feelings of peace, thoughtfulness, and joy. 

   Yes, there’s suffering in Africa, and we see these images all the time.

   But there’s also joy.   There’s also laughter.  And there’s a lot of beauty.

the calendar is standing in the background with June showing, and several of the other months are out on the table so you can get an idea 

This is what I hope I have shared through this calendar.  At first I was just doing it for myself – like therapy.  Then, when it turned out as cool as it did (heh heh), I decided it would be a gift I’d give to my family and some friends (and it still will be).  SMA also said they liked it, and we could print it and try to sell it.  There’s doubt from some people if it will make any money – after all, everyone seems to do calendars, many organizations send them to people for free – calendars are everywhere.  This is a little different, though.  It is in something like a CD case where the cover of the case flips around and becomes the base of the calendar so it can stand on the desktop. 

above: calendar instructions and a closeup of the calendar standing up
below: calendar on the desk, with my niece covered in mud on the computer screen 

The front sheet is the current month, when the month is over that sheet gets removed and the next month is there.

Now I feel the pressure to sell them.  We (SMA) put an ad for them in the most recent newsletter we sent out:

Our 2013 desktop calendar is more than a calendar – it’s a stocking stuffer, a birthday gift, a Christmas gift, a New Year’s gift, and a way to cheer up a loved one, or yourself, daily. It’s a colorful, peaceful portrait of Africa and Africans. It’s not too early to give a gift that will last throughout the next year, and support our lay missionaries in the process:
 1 calendar for $6.50                      
5 calendars for $30 

If anyone wants one - just let me know through email or a comment to the blog.  We'll send them out, and you can hopefully send the suggested donation back to us.  I agree with the ad – I think they’re great gifts.  And they’re nice just to have on your desk or dresser.  And – I apologize for trying to sell stuff through my blog – but, I also want to encourage people to buy some of these.  I think it's not only beautiful and no one will be disappointed, but by buying some it will support what we are doing - working with people with disabilities, teaching, building up lives, addressing environmental concerns, etc. - all the things (and more) that I've written about over the years.    


At 10:10 PM, Blogger MJ said...

Steve, I think this is just perfect the way you presented the calendar. I really like the personal touches you have on here and the fact that these are your own pictures that have so many memories for you and mean so much to you. Showing the calendar standing up by the computer with the picture of the cutest little girl in the world was also a great idea.

At 12:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love it! I want 5. Florence

At 12:26 AM, Anonymous Pam said...

Send me an address! I want to send you the money before you send me any calenders (likely 2-3).

At 2:41 PM, Blogger steve said...

Sorry - didn't include the address with the blog post:

256 Manor Circle
Takoma Park, MD 20912


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