Earth’s Ten Commandments

My Engagement Calendar

Just before the New Year, I went shopping for a new engagement calendar. This was never a problem when I had the bookstore, because I could just pick one out from those I ordered for sale. I use my engagement calendar primarily to record what I’m doing day-to-day. This is good for my journal writing and also handy at tax time.

I went to three or four bookstores before I found the perfect engagement calendar, cloth bound no less!

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Chez Panisse
35th Anniversary
2007 Engagement Calendar

Poster art by David Lance Goines
Introduction by Alice Waters
Ten Speed Press

It is a treasure. I’ve used weekly engagement calendars for years, always insisting on an engagement calendar with an illustration for each week. It all started back when my former sister-in-law used to work at a Williams Sonoma store in Orange County. Every year she would send me a Frank Lloyd Wright engagement calendar for Christmas. For a couple years I loved it, before getting really tired of Frank Lloyd Wright. She switched to M. C. Escher, one can tire easily of M. C. Escher. I was spared years of Escher’s when my brother remarried. That was in 1992, the year we moved to San Francisco, and I had to start buying my own engagement calendars. I’ve had everything from the SI Swimsuit engagement calendars to Mapplethorpe to the Taschen series, All American Ads of the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s. My favorite for the last five years or so has been the Redstone Diary, published by Chronicle Books. They have a theme every year, so one doesn’t get tired of it, and rather bizarre drawings and photographs. A Redstone Diary was not to be found in this year’s quest.

My steadfast rule for enjoying an illustrated engagement calendar is to never look ahead to see the upcoming illustration. Yes, I do page through at the beginning of the year, but only once, and only a cursory inspection.

That’s a long way of saying that when I turned the page this week in my Chez Panisse calendar I found a David Lance Goins illustration of Earth’s Ten Commandments by Ernest Callenbach, a writer and editor best known for his visionary novel Ecotopia – an environmental classic that has sold almost a million copies.

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Earth’s Ten Commandments

Thou shalt love and honor the Earth for it blesses thy life and governs thy survival.

Thou shalt keep each day sacred to the Earth and celebrate the turning of its seasons.

Thou shalt not hold thyself above other living things nor drive them to extinction.

Thou shalt give thanks for thy food to the creatures and plants that nourish thee.

Thou shalt limit thy offspring for multitudes of people are a burden unto the Earth.

Thou shalt not kill nor waste Earth’s riches upon weapons of war.

Thou shalt not pursue profit at the Earth’s expense but strive to restore its damaged majesty.

Thou shalt not hide from thyself or others the consequences of thy actions upon the Earth.

Thou shalt not steal from future generations by impoverishing or poisoning the Earth.

Thou shalt consume material goods in moderation so all may share Earth’s bounty.
 © 1990 by Ernest Callenbach

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