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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