Yesterday, I missed writing about my Word of the Year because of computer issues.
For the last few years, I have been choosing a word or phrase that will frame my thinking and processing for the year. I observe my dreaming during the hush of the Christmas Twelvenight, from Solstice until Epiphany, looking for the images and ideas that float to the surface and stick with me.
In 2013, when I began doing this, the word that came was Palimpsest, the word for an ancient vellum manuscript that has been reused so that the previous layers of text appear through the new text. In 2014, I chose the word Bridge, not knowing then that that year would find me at the end of my job search teaching at my own alma mater, which uses the image of the bridge. Last year, I don’t know if I really defined a specific word. In a way, I continued using the Bridge, but I also carried Mystery or Secret or Silence as words that were part of my path for the year.
Last year, I had very few dreams, and only pulled a few images from the flotsam at the very end. This year, I have been dreaming in furious rushes, waking frequently during the nights with wild and impetuous images still clinging to the cobwebs of my brain. Early on, I had several dreams about a particular character whom I don’t recognize from my waking life, but working with this character and the other themes of my dreams this season, I am choosing Bold Wise Counsel as my phrase for the year. I keep wanting to take that word “bold” out of there, but something keeps nudging it back in there. And I don’t know that it’s about me going around and offering counsel as much as it is about me being open to receiving the good counsel of others. Perhaps it’s about sharing ideas back and forth, knowing when to speak. I know that in the weeks leading up to the dreams that gave me the phrase, I had asked several wise people for help with something, and found their wisdom to be incredibly helpful in sorting out a thorny problem.
1. Those Middle School Quiz Bowlers. I loved being the reader for their match this week, asking them questions that I knew I couldn’t answer, or knowing the answer and needing to secretly keep it tucked away so it wouldn’t show on my face when they began to guess. What delightful energy middle schoolers have!
2. Vision Board. Last night, after days of near-constant grading, I took a little break to make a vision board for the coming year. It was a wonderful process, and I am caught by the images that I put together, loving the way that they work together.
3. Thresholds. Here I stand at the limbo end of a semester, not wanting to add to their burden of stress or my already huge stacks of grading. Thinking about the last words I want to give in the last two days of the semester, and planning for the semester to come.
4. Yesterday morning’s moon. Again. And the stars that hold her in their bowl of twinkle. If I have to be up and about before dawn, the moon is a marvelous compensation.
5. Sleep. I put a picture of a sleeping giraffe on my vision board. I envision myself getting sufficient sleep in the coming year. It’s a pretty mundane thing, perhaps, to put on a vision board, but sleep is one of the keys to my good health in many ways, and I plan to make health a priority. I am still often wakeful at night, but lately I have been getting back to sleep (which has been part of the problem) and sleeping until the alarm.
May we walk in Beauty!