It was at the end of 2015 that I decided to collect wall calendars. Every year, I promised myself, I would choose a calendar with a theme that I’d never chosen before, and at the end of the year each calendar would be stored permanently in a drawer.
I decided I would do this for at least twelve years, at which point I would have as many calendars as there are months in a year, so it seemed a poetically significant milestone. Then I would decide whether to continue.
Well, this month I purchased my twelfth calendar — a Faeryland theme for 2017 — and so that time has come. How to commemorate it? That is something I’ve planned for a while now.
You may be familiar with the ASMR genre of videos on Youtube. These feature relaxing sounds, typically made by everyday objects, often in some kind of thematic context. For some people these sounds can trigger a pleasant tingling sensation, which is what the term ASMR denotes. But the appeal is broader than that. Many people get some kind of pleasant sensation from ASMR videos, even if it’s more subtle than a bona fide spine tingle.
Personally I don’t have a strong response, and ASMR videos are not a big part of my life. But I do binge on them from time to time, and because such a simple thing can give people such pleasure, I couldn’t not speculate about making one of my own.
Presenting my calendar collection in the form of an ASMR video seemed like a perfect match. I would leaf through the pages one by one, and people could look at the pictures while listening to the sounds that glossy paper makes as it scrapes and bends. (Also, something about the form lends itself to a journey theme, in this case a journey through time. It has to do with the way that watching a good ASMR video feels like being carried.) This idea was already forming three years ago when I published an earlier video about my collection (completely silent), but the time wasn’t right then. It was something to save for the big Twelfth Year Anniversary.
The video I made is below. To watch it, turn off the lights so your senses can focus, put your headphones on (in my experience headphones are essential for all ASMR videos, even if they’re not binaurial), and turn the volume down nice and low.
I am a complete amateur at this. I lack time, experience, equipment, and a quiet home. But if I hear from one person who really enjoys it, I will count that a success. (Sometimes the calendars slip from my control, but I feel that’s a good thing.)
[Here’s a direct link. I’ve put quite a bit of information in the video description, so I recommend watching on Youtube so you can read that. As I say there, the Rob Gonsalves painting “Phenomenon of Floating” (image for April 2015) represents how I hope to make you feel.]