Thursday, January 8, 2015

THE WORD . . .

Yes, this is a 2015 photo....
You may have come across, in your rambles around the social media, the concept of choosing your very own personal word for the year.

I’ve never done this before, because I couldn’t find one that suited me—it didn’t fit or it was the wrong color or its style didn’t flatter me—the same trouble I run into when I shop for clothes.

Now shopping for clothes is usually, for me, a matter of desperation. I need an outfit for a particular event, or my last pair of decent/favorite/clean slacks has disappeared, or I’ve gained—or lost—weight to an extent that the size I currently have on hangers in my closet makes me look like a charity case, wearing whatever the thrift store had in stock.
But enough about clothes. Back to The Word.
Other people—also writers—seem to have The Word fall upon them. It bounces up in the midst of an epiphanal event. It occurs three times (magic there) in one day in different scenarios. Or it seems to miraculously appear just when they need it.

Mine hasn’t behaved like theirs. But then, my life doesn’t always behave either, so what can I expect?

Yesterday I was recovering from Tuesday’s mad scramble of shopping, lunch with a friend, errands, and an evening church service at which I played the organ. By the time I got home, about 7:45 in the evening, the temp had dropped to 10 degrees (not counting wind chill), I was hungry because I’d had only a small meal before leaving for the church, and I was tired from a full day. The only reason I crammed Tuesday full was that I knew Wednesday, and many days thereafter, would be part of the cold wave sweeping over/settling in/annoying my little corner of the world.

So—to recover: I read most of the day. Having given away many of my books and recycled others, I’m left with only a few hundred now. Whenever a good reading day comes along, I am never prepared. There’s never a good book just waiting for me to pick it up and devote myself to its charms. Yesterday I searched for a new book that I knew I had—but the question was, where?
Eventually it was run to earth in a room I hadn’t expected to find it in. May Sarton’s Recovering: A Journal. May Sarton was an actress, poet, novelist, and lover of nature. Of all her books, I am most drawn to her journals, the most famous being Journal of a Solitude. She talks my language.

In Recovering, Ms. Sarton laments her moral dilemma, “how to make peace with the unacceptable.” [We can all relate to that on one level or another.]
“So the word that has run through these past months has been ‘accept, accept.’”
The word accept always calls to mind the opening of the Serenity Prayer, by Reinhold Niebuhr [often attributed to St. Francis]:
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.
Accepting things I cannot change demands a lot from me—honesty, a willingness to feel pain, a letting go in a relationship that won’t be helped by my interference. And a host of others.

Think I'll start with
winter...and snow
What it does not mean is to lie down and let the world run over me. Or to give in with a flounce and a snarl. Or try to change things that are not my place to change.
Definitely need that wisdom.
So, for 2015, I choose my word—ACCEPT.
It has no great romance about it, no mystique. It offers no rewards. It makes no promises.

But I believe it can give me greater peace in my soul.
Blessings on you for this new year, this time of new beginnings.

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