The prompt: Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would youlike the word to be that captures 2011 for you?
Okay, so I cheated. Kind of. Don’t mow me over with any “strictly speakings” or tickets from the literal police just yet. I’m certain I’ve captured the soul of this challenge, and with all the words that I could use as buckets to throw my year in, narrowing it down to two almost-synonyms was no stroll through a lineless Disneyworld; trust me.
I do most of my thinking at the gym, and in between the bazillion and bazillion-first set of lunges, I realized that I had one word repeatedly looping through my head. Threadbare. “There it is!”, I’d say, only to reject it moments later because it wasn’t quite there. This beaten and tattered word speaks of frayed edges and dog-eared pages; wits worn thin and defenses worn out. “But that’s true!”, I’d shout (okay, I wouldn’t really shout-I need to be allowed back in that gym-but you get the idea) and then reject it again. You see, my year was (is?) threadbare, and I am worn out. I’m beset by a fatigue that goes beyond physical and 2010 was marked for me by trials, arguments and professional ennui; tortured relationships and an almost debilitating loneliness. Threadbare. Used-up.
But, just as there were moments when the last seam was about to pop, there were instances of such beauty and depth and purity that I couldn’t, with any type of honesty, stop defining my year right there. These moments were a summer breeze, a maxi-dress, a moth wing, a filmy mass of soft, silk chiffon; all floating toward and then past me as reminders that even the dimmest night is only so by comparison to the brilliant sunshine of day . And so? Diaphanous.
They’re almost sisters really, threadbare and diaphanous. Perhaps first cousins, sporting the major familial features, but so different in temperament and attitude. They’re the finer nuances in a more exact word that I just couldn’t seem to find.
As for next year? 2011? Renaissance. I want to learn more and better understand how to relate to the people and the world around me. I want to be challenged in a meaningful and productive way…not just through hardship. I’m striving for a shift in focus and tactic; one that sees beauty before filth and is fully engaged in the world around it. I’m scrambling for a well-rounded soul.