During this holiday season of 2012, I have been giving my friends a small pocket calendar and also giving them a poem about how they might use the calendar. The little planner is meant to be a place for friends to collect some of the gifts that come along in 2013. I will let my poem explain . . .
Here comes the new year, 2013 —
May it be the best one you've ever seen.
I've a wish for you; A little book, too
Let me explain now what I hope it will do.
Click to read the rest of the poem. (Using this method, I plan to fill up one of these little books myself during the coming year.)Note (added December 21, 2012): Below is a response, from a retired lawyer, to my poem. Although I think he has written it with some degree of seriousness, I found it very funny. He wrote (and I post this with his permission):
I like the poem. Clever wordsmithing. As to the substance:
1. What "studies" are you referencing in the poem? I understand that even a poet of your talent and intelligence could not insert a footnote or citation without distracting the reader and destroying the artistic mood carefully woven into the poetry. But the regimen suggested by the work requires a not inconsiderable capital investment, together with the daily expenditure of a virtue that seems to require more and more effort as I age: discipline. It would seem to me that this undertaking you suggest must be weighed against alternative expenditures of what appears to be a diminishing stock of discipline available for current and new ventures. Please provide me with citations for the gratitude studies to assist me in this evaluation.
2. At the end of the day I am supposed to take one aspirin, and a bad cholesterol pill. I also must take out my contact lenses. Two minutes with a toothbrush follows. If I undertake these tasks out of order, I forget whether I took the damn pills. Then I have trouble falling asleep. I suppose I could place the diary and a pen next to my contact lens case. But I am quite concerned about the sequence of the tasks, and the possible substitution of bifocal eyeglasses for contact lenses with reading glasses somewhere in the process. In short, this new venture you suggest could have serious health risks that must be thoroughly evaluated and weighed against the potential gratitude benefits.
3. Do the "studies" referenced take into account the loss of short term memory brought about by age? Or is the writing each day an acknowledgement of that condition. It is rare if early "studies" of a subject examine age differences. Is the literature sufficiently developed to have examined the age factor?
4. Are repeats cheating? How about going outside the 24 hour period? If you have two blessings in one day, can you take the most significant and bank it for the next day if necessary? How about a prior blank page? Is there a risk that an abundance of blank pages could cause rage leading to conduct detrimental to the individual or society as a whole? Are there civil liability concerns associated with encouragement of this activity without a professional evaluation of the psychological condition of the targeted reader?
Sending a poem to a lawyer is like giving a bouquet of flowers to a goat.