My word for 2015 is see. Of all my senses, I am most inspired by sight, which is a bit ironic, I suppose, since I have weak eyesight, both near and far. If you were to watch the steps I need to take to set up and shoot a simple photo like the ones of these pears, you might wonder why I bother.
And yet, I cannot imagine my life without photography or gardening or design. My writing process is also profoundly influenced by imagery, whether I'm crafting a poem, an essay, an article, or a piece of fiction. A good sentence begins for me with an image and moves from there.
I'm grateful for the technology that lets my weak eyes see, and I never take it for granted. I chose this word for 2015 to remind myself to use my eyes, my mind, and my heart to really see, to take in the play of light and shadow through a lace curtain on a summer afternoon or the rough and nobbled grain of the wood on an old farm table--to see things as they are, on their own terms. And this goes for people as well as things . . . and animals, too. I want to foster in myself a greater sense of empathy for others and for whatever journeys they may be on.
I have a full year ahead in my work life as well as my home life, and I know that truly seeing will require me to stop and take long stretches of time. I am often good about guarding and using my writing time to its fullest, but I need to be better about sitting still and being quiet just to simply see. This will make me a better artist, a better writer, and, I hope, a wiser and richer me.
I gave myself the gift this new year of signing up for a still life class with my dear friend Kim Klassen. Kim is one of the most inspiring people I know, so if you are looking for some creative inspiration in 2015, take a peek here. For me, Be Still--Fifty-Two couldn't be a more perfect way to take that time I need to see.
Have you chosen a word for the year? If so, please feel free to share it in the comments. I'd love to learn what word you've selected and why.