A word for the year

Word of the year…word for the year?

Prepositions can make such a difference in a sentence. Happily, my word for the year is also the word of the year. When I read about the idea, I didn’t think I would apply it to my life just now. But a few days’ thought and I realized I had a word for the year, or it had me, to be more accurate.

Are you choosing a word of the year? Ali Edwards had a great idea. It’s a little like choosing the theme music for your year: it sets the tone, pulls at the heart, leads the way deeper into the psyche.

Adventure. A word that hints of sweat and endless vistas, a word that conjures spice and the cries of exotic birds filling the air.

1 a: an undertaking usually involving danger and unknown risks b: the encountering of risks <the spirit of adventure>
: an exciting or remarkable experience <an adventure in exotic dining>
3: an enterprise involving financial risk
I’m not talking only of our travels, although they will be a dominant feature in shaping this year. I’m also talking about living everyday life as an adventure. Life is not an adventure, it is the adventure. But how many of us approach life as though it were a boating safety course? Shedding that approach, casting off, has meant that I find adventure everywhere when I’m paying attention. An exciting or remarkable experience can be had anywhere, even when the calls of exotic birds are not filling the air.

“You need not leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. You need not even listen, simply wait. You need not even wait, just learn to become quiet and still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked. It has no choice. It will roll in ecstasy at your feet.”
Franz Kafka

A passage that caught my eye in the Tao Te Ching when I first read it came to mind again today:

Without taking a step outdoors
You know the whole world;
Without taking a peep out the window
You know the colour of the sky.

The more you experience,
The less you know.
The sage wanders without knowing,
Looks without seeing,
Accomplishes without acting.

(chapter 47 as translated by Peter Merel)

Adventures of the mind. Adventures of the pen. Adventures of the body. Adventures together. Adventures alone.

I’d love to read your word, if you’re choosing one. Or if it’s choosing you, as mine did.

gold and blue

2 thoughts on “A word for the year

  1. Amy says:

    A wonderful word choice… and so fitting for you and this year, I think. I am glad this idea of Ali’s had/has resonance for you, as well.

  2. amy says:

    I think I am going to try to think about this tonight and reflect- i am writing a novel this year…I should think of something fitting 🙂 merci

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