Monday, January 17, 2011

Word for the Year

Rather than drawing up a bunch of Resolutions  for the New Year, poet Molly Fisk and her cadre of friends choose a Word for the Year, by-passing all the guilt and grief resolutions seem to bring. You might have heard her radio-essay on the subject on KVMR, up in Nevada City.

So, I've been thinking about this for, like, 20 freaking days, trying to come up with my word.

A Word for the Year should be carefully chosen, I figure, for it would have the ability to direct my attention and intention, in conscious and unconscious ways, towards something - maybe something productive and positive, if I choose well - or into a divergence, a distraction from what I'd like to accomplish. Definitely want to consider this with all due diligence; it could be a case of being careful what you wish for. (Another blogger, Busha Full of Grace, also contemplates this Word-for-the-Year thing and has some interesting points to make.)

"Walk" struck me as a good word, full of purpose and promise. Going for walks, considering my walk in life, two topics nagging the heck out of me already anyway. "Change" perhaps? Aaack, a trifle over-used and way too ambiguous. Molly and her compadres chose some good ones: precision, sing, ease, simplify, minimize, reach, pause. Good words, but taken. Somehow, I want my own word. I've considered: flying, fountain, wamble, expedition, truckin', abundance. None of them, (though I do love the idea of traveling and abundance sure would be handy) grab me.  If I keep this up, the year will be over before I've made a choice. Par for my course; decisions flummox me.

Little things, like deciding where to go for dinner (and then, oh horrors! what to have) or which jacket I should wear to work, can hold me up for hours. Sometimes, standing in decision-fugue mode in front of the coat hooks, I'll grab three jackets, stuff them in the car, and hope I'll figure something out before I get to work. If I'm lucky, it will start raining and my decision will be made for me. With luck, I snagged a raincoat. That shop of 31 Flavors? I just about short-circuited. The easy solution there was to pick a favorite, Jamoca Almond Fudge, which worked until the day they ran out of it. Then I stopped going.

Big things - I won't even get into the long, drawn-out dramas that major life decisions engender; suffice it to say there is a reason why my hair is thin and patchy. I'm usually holding out to the very, very last minute, muddling myself up by considering each and every option, all permutations of possibilities, the what-ifs and maybes, until the urgent necessity to make the decision overrides my reluctance to commit to a plan. Perhaps that is my word: commit.

Well, no. Commitment is one part of the process. But I've been committed to creating this book for year now. What I'm really interested in is completing the damn thing. Decisions are hard, committing is harder, but following through and completing something is hardest of all.  Let's say I figure out which jacket to wear. Returning home, I usually dump it on the nearest chair, never getting around to hanging it back up on the coat hook where it belongs. Meaning that, the next day, once I've finally made a decision to wear it (half an hour there), I then have to search for it (another 15 minutes). Late for work, again! I'm not famous for putting things back, completing a task, finishing up. Thousands of little projects are all over the house, in corners, in bags, in stacks, waiting patiently to be finished: bills to be paid; books to be read and reviewed, cushions to mend, curtains to hem; workshop plans created and submitted; blog posts, essays, novellas (3!), query letters to yep,  I think thats the word: completion!

and hey, I've finally completed this task. One down, 999 to go. 


  1. I'm going for "luminous" only because I love that word. :-)

  2. it's a great word! and what would be more fabulous than luminosity in any or all of its manifestations. Here's to your luminous year!


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