I love words. Some words beg to be used in sentences, like vast and belligerent. Whimsical is as sweet as it sounds. There are words I enjoy because of what they mean like hope and ecstatic and mindful. They draw you in. I like fancy and delightful because it’s fancy and delightful. I play with words, shuffle them around until they become significant, revelatory. In our house we have words we make up like numptyhead. In our car you could hear, “What a numptyhead!” It’s a nice alternative to idiot when someone cuts you off.
Every year I choose a word to point to, something to steady me when my world gets uneven. Like Charlotte spinning words into her web, it becomes a banner, a guiding star. For a long time it was Perseverance. For two years my life was caught up in that word. Then I slowly worked through Overcome. One year I pursued Generosity. Then Hope…recently Belief. This year a word found me. I pondered the many words in front of me and shook them as if they were contained in a snow globe. They whirled and floated and settled. One tiny word winked at me on its way down. Shine.
I wouldn’t normally take on a word like that. A small word that packs a punch. It’s a word that deserves attention, a stage. It’s daring. It implies more. Shine wants to be explored and I suspect it’s attached to this manuscript I’ve been working on for three years. Soon I’ll be able to hold my book in my hands and I’ll feel the weight of my words, the heft of my horror, my undoing, and then my redemption. My wish is that these words will make someone feel less alone and fill them with possibility.
Shine is about ownership of a life I claimed 14 years ago. I said yes to life when death came for me. I turned from despair and chose hope and love. I spent a long time fighting, changing and accepting. Today, now, this year instead of something to strive for or aspire to, I wonder if Shine will be my gift.
What about you? Do you have words that guide you or words that beg for your attention?