While anthologies of pithy quotations can be very useful as sources, their very richness tends to inhibit the reader from giving sufficient attention to the individual gems in the collection.
This Perpetual Calendar, which presents one quotation for each day of a fourteen-year permutation, is offered in the hope that it may help you if you make a habit of setting time aside every day for meditation or some other form of contemplative thought. It will also give your mind something to 'chew over' when you have a quiet moment in the course of the day.
The quotations are chosen to harmonise with the seven divisions of the Ardue Temple, starting with 'Life' on Sunday and cycling through 'Love', 'Fear', 'Personal Responsibility', 'Active Service', and 'Balance', ending with 'Satisfaction' on Saturday. It is hoped that this arrangement will suit readers who like to establish a rhythmic pattern in their lives.
How to Access:
|New Year's Day||Ordinary Year||Leap Year|
The "Front Page" for each year carries a photograph taken in or from Ardue. One picture is entitled Sunset. The theme for all the others is Life at the Margin: each picture exemplifies the struggle Nature requires of plant life if it is to survive and thrive in an inhospitable environment. Is humanity not also required by Nature to do likewise?
The photographs for years A through L were taken by my daughter, Mŕiri. I am responsible for the remaining two.
At an early stage in the development of the Ardue project, I decided to introduce a "Meditation Calendar" as an aid to readers who made, or wished to make, a practice of setting time aside every day for quiet meditation. For each day of the current year, the calendar would offer a quotation as a "seed" that might grow into "thought food" in the mind of the reader.
The first such "calendar" was published for the year 2003. It was designed to look like the annual calendars we used to hang on our walls in the "olden days". The front of such a calendar typically showed an attractive photograph below which was mounted a block of tear-off strips, one for each month. My first Internet version, showing a typical summer sunset as viewed from Ardue was posted in 2003.
It then occurred to me that future editions might more appropriately feature illustrations appropriate to the overall content of the calendar rather than the name of the Web site. But where could I find distinctive illustrations that would more adequately reflect the overall tenor of the site?
My first approach was to my elder daughter, Isobel, who agreed to design a set of "mandalas" that might help readers to adopt an appropriate meditative mental "posture".
Isobel commenced with an exercise in marquetry and produced an elaborate structure in metal and wood, thus recognizing the existence of organic as well as purely inorganic matter. The overall design reflects some of the geometrical forms in which the Holy Spirit presents many of the properties discernible by our senses.
The time, skill, and careful attention to detail Isobel devoted to this first endeavour was clearly far more demanding than could be justified by something that would have a short-lived appearance on a transient website. We therefore agreed that less labour-intensive more colourful design would constitute an entirely satisfactory medium for further calendar illustrations.
These more "vibrant" colours reinforce the idea that all Nature, living or "dead", can be interpreted as a mathematical or fractal symphony in spirit vibration, and our meditations can be enriched by reflecting that we ourselves have been endowed in our various ways with the potential to create new designs in all varieties of media without arbitrary limit.
I discovered that regular reference to the "seeds" for daily meditation which appeared in the calendar was having a beneficial effect on myself, and I realised that with a little ingenuity it would be possible to extend the principle beyond my limited expectation of Internet life by constructing the calendar which now appears on the site.
An exercise in simple arithmetic showed that if my calendar were to be "perpetual", it would require fourteen different "pages" to cater for all possible combinations of days and years. Feeling that I could hardly burden Isobel with the task of fitting the production of a further eleven designs into her normally very busy life, my thoughts retreated to the Ardue of my youth.
It so happened that my younger daughter, Mŕiri, a medical herbalist, had taken a shine to Ardue and was contemplating taking over the family croft on which to grow her own herbs. A very good photographer, she had taken many close-up photographs of the innumerable varieties of vegetation found in and around Ardue, many too small and obscure to be obvious to the casual observer.
Hence arose the theme of "Life At the Margin" reflected in the current calendar and illustrated through Mŕiri's photographs which draw attention to the struggle for maintenance and renewal of living forms that goes on, generally unnoticed, beneath our eyes and feet.
My one regret is that Isobel's important contribution to the life-history of the calendar is no longer recognized in the calendar itself. Hence this "addendum" which places my appreciation on record.