Yu Xue Han | 余雪菡



Our Inner Seasonality | 2022 日曆

A Personal Project - Print Edition of 50

Foreword, 前言

“As mankind grew obsessed with its hours, the sorrow of lost time became a permanent hole in the human heart. People fretted over missed chances, over inefficient days; they worried constantlyabout how long they would live, because counting life’s moments had led,inevitably, to counting them down.”
- Mitch Albom, The Time Keeper

It may seem contradictory to start the foreword for a calendar with this quote because “aren’t calendars about planning our days and time spent”? What I hopefor is that through this calendar, we can be gently nudged into
redefining our relationship with time, reconnecting with the nature, and tuning into the seasons within us.

Time is not linear, rather it is circular, where we live through cycles of the seasons. Humans are like trees. We need the roots to ground and anchor us back to what truly matters; our branches extends and provide shades of comfort to others; the leaves changes its colours according to the seasons and its resilience to withstand the harshest season, only to bear fruit again in its time. A tree never worries if summer ever comes or worry about spring being late.

The finitude of life is there to teach us not to merely live productively everyday, but to be fully present in every heartbeat, in every sunrise and sunset, in every moon phase, in every season; for there is a purpose in every season.

In our little red dot, Singapore, there is only summer, making it challenging to observe the seasons externally. It is no wonder, that we work almost all year round, that we pushed ourselves to be the best, to run at the same speed in the rat race. Likened to a tree, we can’t bear fruits or flowers all year round. 

Hence, a large part of the work is tuning into not just to the seasons around us but also paying attention to our inner seasonality. This calendar is designed in a way where you choose the illustrations that reflect your current season, as a monthly check-in with yourself. As the month passes, I invite you to gift yourself time to pen down your learnings onto the translucent sheet. I hope this practice over 12 months embody what Parker J. Palmer said about the movement of life, where it “does not deny the struggle or joy, the loss or the gain, the darkness or the light, but encourages us to embrace it all - and to find in all of its opportunities for gowth. [because] The cycle of seasons is trustworthy and life-giving, even in the most dismaying season of all.”