|road through the mountains 20"x20" oil, earth pigments, cold wax on panel|
Last week Robyn at Art Propelled wrote about her word for the year: "Stillness". I was inspired by her post. Janice Mason Steeves painted "Silence" for a period. I'm not sure if it was a whole year but she focused on that one word in her work for an extended time. There is something in me that is drawn to this idea, the contemplation of one word. Perhaps it is the simplicity; the fact that my pea brain might be able to hold a single, solitary unattached word, a free floating group of letters revolving around a thought, a feeling, an essence. The other thing that draws me, moth like to this idea, is the opportunity to dive deeply into a word, to watch it grow, expand and fill my world. I could inhabit the word, no maybe if I was lucky I could become the word. Say if the word was poodle, people might start looking at me and remarking, " don't you think she's starting to look a bit like a poodle, no, no maybe it's just the new haircut?"
Stillness, silence these are lovely words. I see the potential for exploration and growth with these words as companions. I remember having a conversation years ago with a doctor, who had said some things I didn't care for. I reminded him that words are powerful and that they have the potential to either hurt or heal. We use them so off handedly in our everyday world. I can't count the times I have been wounded unintentionally by a dull thud of a word. And I can only imagine the number of dangerously sharp words I have flung in haste and unawareness at others. Perhaps we could heal ourselves with a single word? Or the other way around?
|May Peace Increase On Earth 20"x 24" mixed media on canvas|
So Robyn got me thinking about choosing a word for the year (even though we are well into the year). I liked her idea of having a friend to bounce your word back and forth with over the year; someone to exchange word musings with. But then there's the important thing; the word. What word would I choose? I am a bit of a curmudgeon with a slight rebel streak, so I wouldn't want anything too "nice" or "sweet", and I wouldn't want anything sentimental or over wrought. And nothing too assertive or aggressive. I don't want a word like "do" or "change" or "athlete" as suggested on one website I looked at.
I think first, my word needs to be personally meaningful. It needs to be something like a koan, something that intersects or expresses something I want to be or have more of in my life (as in Janice an Robyn's words). It needs to have these qualities to keep me engaged I think. I don't want to leave it languishing in a book somewhere after a few days, crying sad little print tears that run like mascara because I have given up on it so soon.
|With Our Thoughts 16"x16" mixed media on canvas|
I am thinking about "ease" or "trust" as potential words. Ease sounds a bit lazy and maybe a little "new agey" and "trust", well it sounds a little like motherhood and apple pie. (This is me rolling the little word marbles around.) Lazy or apple pie? hmmm. These words call to me because I'm a "struggler". I am inclined to see things as difficult or make things difficult, more difficult that they need to be. And in the seeing of things as hard, well you know how that goes.... But I am working on letting that part of me dissolve like sponge toffee left out in the rain. So I thought, what if I had a word I could hold like a little talisman, a little magical, glowing bit of the alphabet. A word that might relax that inclination to wrestle, to stop me from writhing around like someone tangled up in a bedsheet, even when there is no bedsheet. Now that would be a good word.
And how about you? Do you have a word? For the year? For the day? Do words call to you, sing like sirens, take you on little journeys? A good word is a powerful thing. And a good companion.