Datebook

Often I find myself staring at the calendar, transfixed by all the little boxes following one after another, day by day. Every day of every week of every month neatly organized into a grid on a piece of paper hanging on my wall. Every day as a one-inch by one-inch square.

I wonder to myself how there can appear to be so many squares, while at the same time so few. How can time seem so long and yet so short? So long to wait, too short to act.

Each square this month seems so cluttered: dentist at three, meeting at six, brunch at nine, work at eight. Every square a month from now … glaringly blank. Here, in material form, the whole of the mystery of the future, neatly divided, box by box, on my kitchen wall.

And what of us? Of you and I? Where can I fit, between the meetings and the appointments and the white-out and the marker and the brunch and the thick black line separating today from tomorrow, time for life? Month after month I see boxes so filled I couldn't find space. Other boxes so empty I didn't know what to do. Time with you, time apart from you; together today, gone yesterday; written in one box, erased in another – will we be here tomorrow?

As I flip page after page, turning weeks and months over on top of each other, moving through time effortlessly – next week, next month, next year, each page blank and clean … I ask myself what the future could hold – for you, for me, for us …

Then I look at that blank grid, glaring black and white and empty, and I know, at least, that it's more than what can be held inside of a one-inch by one-inch box.