I started my morning reading gf, Jacqualine Baxman’s, great post, “Truth and Future – Words for 2016″. Provocative in that she, too, has more than one word, also for her ruminations on the letter 3:
It is round, thick with opportunity, velvety like the dark edges of purple roses, plump in a garden beneath moonlight on a clear night. The closed curves on one side of the number hold secrets while the open spaces on the other side are pathways for knowledge, roads over which messengers travel and meet for tea, for a shot at the end of the bar just before closing. Where outcomes are determined. Where puzzles are solved and gun barrels are emptied before there is ever a need to point the weapon. Everyone goes home alive.
That started me thinking about my own number, 7, which looks like a high dive. I am afraid of heights, and yet in my head I am always walking the edge and diving off trusting that wings will grow or a net will appear. And that happens way more than I have a right to expect. Or maybe it is our birthright to expect wings and nets when we go forth, voice shaking and knees knocking, refusing to let fear stop us in our tracks.
On to words for the year. Yes, this year it will be word(s). Some years it is a question. Some years words change like the weather. (links to some of that from 2009 – 2011 here) But this year I am going to try to work with my words all year long.
You may remember that on October 1 2015 I confidently pronounced that my word for the coming year would be “balance”. It’s a GREAT word. It has all sorts of nuances which I wrote about, thinking: yes, Surely this is enough to keep me occupied for a year. Then “balance” sidled over to “centeredness” because, really, that was what I was meaning. Centeredness stayed a while and then things really started moving all over the place.
Which is to say, now I have several words for the year and none of them are “balance” or “centeredness” or any of the other early decisions.
Words for the year are “Courage” and “Persist” (which takes courage, or perhaps is a side effect of courage, or may not have any tie at all to courage except in my own head). Which could also be a question now that I think of it: Do you have the courage to persist?
Coeur (french) comes from “cor” (latin). Both mean “heart”. Courage moves from the heart, and makes me think of “take heart” in the face of whatever shows up. It makes me think of standing up and speaking from my heart no matter what. It makes me think of being scared and doing it anyways. It makes me think of Mary Anne Radmacher’s meme above – a favorite of mine.
The word “courage” kept turning up in reading and browsing on-line and in my morning twilight sleep.
In his book, Consolations, David Whyte says:
To be courageous is to stay close to the way we are made….The first courageous step may be firmly into complete bewilderment and a fine state of not knowing….we become courageous whenever we live closely and to the point of tears with any new possibility made known inside us, whenever we demonstrate a faith in the interior annunciations and align ourselves with the new and surprising and heartfelt necessities of even the average existence. To allow ourselves to feel deeply and thoroughly what has already come into being is to change our future, simply by living up to the consequence of knowing what we hold in our affections….On the inside we come to know who and what and how we love and what we can do to depend that love; only from the outside and only by looking back, does it look like courage.
Then we have persist. Because how can one have courage without persisting? It is a word to remind me not to give up, as does courage. I see them walking together hand in hand. I have chosen it because I need to be reminded, regularly, that everything doesn’t need to get done yesterday, that realistic expectations mean some things will need to move into the future, and sometimes the far future, because there really are only 24 hours in a day and I need 8 full hours of sleep, so. And everything will get done if I simply keep moving in the direction of my intentions, if I persist.
Happy New Year Everyone!