In my Friday night writing group our prompt was to pick a word for the year as a guide and companion. The prompt was based on a blog Nevada City poet Molly Fisk wrote about finding a word as an alternative to a list of resolutions. It turned out to be the perfect catalyst for finding my own word for 2013.

My word was AND. It arrived with a pop after mulling over words like ALLOW and FLOW (as in go with the flow). I even considered some hyphenated words, like sovereign-self. I read that in a book and loved the idea of being a sovereign-self the way Native Americans have sovereign laws and lands.

I thought of choosing two words. WHAT and IF are two of my favorite word combos. WHAT IF is almost as good as AND.

I thought of my favorite phrases, but the process was getting away from me so I went back to the one word. The one true word to carry with me for an entire year.

My ego wanted a word that was unique and cool, so I tried to shake off AND. But no, the lowly and overused and much abused AND was my word. The AND of run-on sentences.

And yet, simply saying it out loud lifted my spirits.  I realized that AND has a higher calling, maybe even the highest calling of all words. It’s definitely loftier than OR and more decisive than BUT.

It’s inclusive. It means I can work on two novels simultaneously. I don’t have to choose. I could even work on three at once if I wanted to, and write short stories and prose poems and….

AND works across all areas of life. It brings relief to any obstacle or setback. I can feel sad AND know I’m still okay. It’s liberating to add any amount of them to wish lists and goals. It’s a word that means infinity, endless acceptance, endless adventure, experiences and possibilities.

Do you have a guiding word for 2013?

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14 thoughts on “And

  1. Love your word: and. Reminds me of a wisdom saying I heard about ten years ago: Don’t have the actual quote anymore (have emailed away for help on that) but the notion is something like: we think we know the meaning of two and two, but we overlook the meaning of “and.”

  2. Love your blog as always — LOVE your choice of word and all the sense-making in what you wrote. I’m torn between “friend” and “compassion.” I’m thinking maybe they’re the same thing.

  3. Great word, Linda. For me, the word is accept, which becomes all the more potent when combined with yours…accept yourself and others, the past and present, the pain and the joy. Thanks for your thoughtful post. Dave

  4. An interesting discussion is definitely worth
    comment. There’s no doubt tht that you ought to publish more about this
    issue, it may not be a taboo subject but generally people do
    not discuss such topics. To the next! Cheers!!

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