Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Encapsulating 2010

Reverb10, December 1 One Word.
Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you?
(Author: Gwen Bell)

Trying to choose one word to describe and encapsulate my 2010 proved a difficult challenge. But, since I am completely smitten with the
Reverb10 initiative, I bit. (In summary, they serve up a writing prompt each day to inspire reflection "on your year and manifest what’s next. The end of the year is an opportunity to reflect on what's happened, and to send out reverberations for the year ahead". Perfect.)

As I reflected on 2010, I cringed, I cried, I giggled...a small smile tugged at my lips. Many fabulous and descriptive words danced and shouted in my mind, cajoling and begging for selection.

I can best describe your year! Choose me! they yelled.

, I told them. You're all lovely, but I can only choose one of you. (Ummm, yes, I just admitted that I talked to words.)

Finally, the most appropos, the most singularly accurate word came to me:


In past years, I skirted the edges of living presently. Although I physically attended each moment, I didn't mentally inhabit each moment. Many moments I spent thinking about the past or the upcoming, and in so doing, I missed the Now.

But in 2010, I inhabited Now. The ugly nows. The epiphany nows. The blah nows. The euphoric nows. The grieving nows.

There are so many wise people and objects whom I wish I could thank for this awakening. The writers I read, the books I inhale, my children, the trees, my friends. I must especially thank Karen Maezen Miller. During her Boston Plunge Retreat, she welcomed us to Now. And then asked, "Have you ever been anywhere else?"

Yes! I wanted to shout. Many times, too many times, I wasn't in the Now because I was There, rehatching, rethinking, redoing...or I was There....planning, worrying, wondering. Not Now, but Then.

Her words reverberated with truth, and acted as a catalyst, a spark of sage connectedness in which all the messages and reminders culminated, returning me to my Nows. I was in that moment. And this one. Now. Wicked winds. Hypnotic candle flame. Classical music. Warm glow of my favorite lamp illuminating my white desk top, littered with cookie crumbs. Words flowing. Fingers typing. Now.

As for the future, in 2011 and beyond, well, I'd like live presently, in each Now that each of those years delivers. Perfect, on time and satiated in the present.