It made its way into my life last January—arriving rather late, I’d say, all things considered.

And then there’s the fact it sauntered in, this concept, in no big rush. Just an idea, a comment, really, passing through.

And still.

Hello, I said, I like you.

And so the idea hung around, waiting, patiently waiting while I got used to it, this notion of a Word for the Year. And I committed, beginning the hunt for just the right one. I tried on one, two, three. But something didn’t feel quite right, this hard work of searching out just the right word. And so I stepped back, like the idea itself, watching and waiting.

Sure enough (just as Miska had said*), in time, my Word arrived.


I am a believer, have I told you that? Twelve months later, I know for sure that having a Word for the Year—a centering force for my life—changed everything.


What now? What about 2013? I’ve been watching and waiting, trying not to grow impatient as the year’s first month clicks by. Words have come, I must tell you, very fine words that just weren’t mine, words for a different time.

And then it happened. My word, hidden there amid eloquence, peeking from behind grand ceremony, a mere commoner.


One Today, said the poet.

We are made for this moment, said the President.

For such a time as this, said Mordecai.


My Word.



From Winn Collier’s blog, Dirtying Paper, Scratching for Beauty:

For a while, Miska’s had these annual encounters where a word arrives, vivid and undeniable. And continuing: This year, I love Miska’s word. A future year, I could imagine it being mine. But it’s not – and that’s the crucial revelation. You can’t snag another person’s word. You can’t even snag another person’s conviction that you need to have a word …You have to find your own —find your own way, find your own self.





13 thoughts on “Word.

  1. Oh I like that word! This is my third “one word for the year” experience (do you happen to listen to KLove? The source of my inspiration for this idea).

    2011: Light
    2012: Play
    This year: Nature

    1. I am not familier with KLove. But I am going to check it out immediately! Isn’t a word for the year just wonderful? Doesn’t it really impact life every single day?

  2. Cathy,
    My word is “radical.” I need new ways of thinking, being, living. And they need to be radical. I hope I can live up to it.

    1. Several years ago I got hooked watching Sex and the City. I decided one night that my goal in life should be “be outrageous,” which is what I thought when I saw Carrie wearing fur to a baseball game. I was really excited about the entire idea as I fell asleep. Then when I woke up the next morning I realized there is just nothing outrageous about me, and so I gave up.

      I support your commitment to radical. Love, love, love it–and I am inspired!

  3. In the last several months, I have – and continue to more ever more deeply – fall in love with words. There is an essence of purity about them that produces a resonation of joy deep in my soul – directly connected in the smile that inevitably takes its place upon my face. Chills. Thank you.

  4. So I reach the end of your post to find myself smiling and … holding my breath!!! Cathy, you have a magical way if drawing so totally into your words! (And my word for 2013 came to me the first week of January: LIGHT.)


  5. Authenticity. I have used it before, but it still seems to be a gauge i need to qualify my thoughts and actions. Maybe I will need it until it is completely natural, but a life of people pleasing is a hard habit to break.

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