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11 november 2015

Many of the November designs for happify calendars over the years are pretty directly tied to the somber and reflective mood it evokes for me, the amalgamation of All Soul’s Day, Election Day, and the barrenness of a snowless and leafless climate with rapidly shortening days (don’t I just make you want to move here!). Fall has passed and the trees are nearly leafless*–the oaks the only species still clinging to a few, and their deep browns are far from the flaming red-oranges and vibrant yellows that make autumn’s losses seem festive. The snow hasn’t come yet in any real way (a few promises made and broken; with ground not yet quite cold enough to keep it). All Soul’s Day is marked by the black and white photos of holy cards, the sepia tones of the formal photos of beloved dead relatives in their beautiful youth. Election Day is relentlessly vibrant (get out the vote!), but by sundown the world is sobering up from the headiness of (impossible) campaign promises and enthusiastic civic engagement. A few days into November and we’re still weeks and weeks from the mid-winter celebrations of light and warmth.

But I’ve had dear ones whose birthdays fall in this month request a happify design that leans a little less towards the meditations on death that the month evokes. And that’s more than fair–November’s also a time of warmth and gathering. The same photos that remind us of the loss of those who have gone before us also nudge us to remember them and our connection to this broader lineage of humanity. The fallible election system is the manifestation of the hope and actions of millions, all of us sharing a desire for a better world.

November is a growing coziness, a shift into hibernation and the mechanics of the internal, both in habitat and mind. The darkening days push us inside, towards one another. November is a pot of soup on the stove, piles of books by the couch, steaming tea, a record to flip, and a loved one to share it all with. It’s reflective, yes, but also vulnerable and intimate, like the trees stripped bare. It’s music and the warmth of a stove and the ease with which even one lit candle or favorite record gives life to the empty spaces.

happify calendar vailable here.

* Note: technically this may not always be true…

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2 thoughts on “Designed: November 2015

  1. “* Note: technically this may not always be true…”
    This note made me smile. A good coda to any statement about the weather in MN… or, indeed, anywhere.

    I love your calendar and like reading more about it.

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