I still depend upon printed weekly planners and wall calendars to keep track of my life. There’s something so satisfying about noting down all the important coming events in red ink by hand on actual paper at the beginning of each year. Something childishly exciting about thumbing through the neatly lined Filofax pages to discover what day of the week your birthday or anniversary will fall on. You hold your future in your hands in a way that I just don’t think is possible with digital versions of the same. What I love most, though, is opening the Audubon Songbird wall calendar every year and seeing which birds will be featured in the twelve months ahead. I was delighted to discover that the Eastern Bluebird, one of my favorites, is the bird of the month for June (which includes my birthday) in 2023. A harbinger of happiness in many different cultures, a blue bird just yesterday landed in our window box and proceeded to snack on the winterberry branches there. It was a rare sighting for late December and a sign, I hope, of good things to come. Speaking of birds and good things ahead, on April 18, 2023 A Wing and a Prayer: The Race to Save Our Vanishing Birds by my brother Anders and his wife Beverly Gyllenhaal will be published by Simon & Schuster. More to come on this important, dramatic, pathbreaking book — so mark your calendar. In the meantime, wishing you much happiness in the year ahead.
by Richard Hoffman
All my undone actions wander
naked across the calendar,
a band of skinny hunter-gatherers,
blown snow scattered here and there,
stumbling toward a future
folded in the New Year I secure
with a pushpin: January’s picture
a painting from the 17th century,
a still life: Skull and mirror,
spilled coin purse and a flower.