Saturday, December 24, 2016

A word for the upcoming year?

A word for the upcoming year? Many are giving it thought.

My friend, Laura Lein-Svencner, has decided on NATURAL, a word that, for lots of reasons, resonates with her, has meaning for her, and will be something that’s always in the back of her mind.

So I wondered, should I have a word? A meaningful concept always floating around in my brain, consciously, or sub-?

This past year has been a challenge. I’ve always been apolitical, far removed from the fray. But this year? It’s been hard to ignore, hasn’t it? Never has politics been so repugnant, repellent, repulsive than what we saw in 2016, no matter which side you were on.

Name-calling, misogyny, bigotry, pettiness — all shoved in our faces, every minute of every day.

Where was decency, empathy, kindness, and objectivity?

It all came to a head this past week when a crony of the president-elect said the most despicable and hateful things about the outgoing president and his wife.

It made me cry in despair. And it made the word I’d chosen for 2016 come into sharp focus:


The word RISE is nothing but positive. An “upward movement.” To ascend. To go up. To do a better job.

Hot air balloons rise upward. “A rising tide floats all boats.” Rise from the ashes. Rise above expectations. Rise to the challenge. Rise to the occasion. Boost. Prosper.

Get up, stand up. The sun also rises. Sunrise. SurpRISE!

So that’s my word for 2017. RISE. Rise above the bigotry, meanness, hate, pettiness, aggression, the ordinary, the stupidity, the average. “We rise by lifting others.”

It’s a short, monosyllabic word — RISE. How hard could it be to put into practice? We shall see. In 2017, we shall see.

Wishing you all the best of everything in 2017.

Carol Leigh
Chris Smith
Abby the Psycho Cat


  1. Good Word, Happy Holidays to the three of you!

  2. Simply profound Carol! Thanks for your wisdom and the challenge of coming up with a meaningful word for 2017 that resonates with me. May you, Chris and Abby all have a healthy, productive and adventuresome year as you "Rise"! Ann aka DoAnn

  3. Laura, it is a good word, isn't it? Thank you for the inspiration.

    And Ann! So happy to hear from you. And I wish you the same "healthy, productive and adventuresome year" as we BOTH rise. Stay warm. Be happy. Play with sock monkeys. And I will always remember the amazing coincidence of having first "met" you in my online classes, and then meeting both you and Carol F. in person in Kyoto. Was that incredible, or what?

  4. Hi Carol! It took a bit of time for me to come up with a word for the year that resonated with me. I did some research after watching a travel show on Japan. (Image my interest in that subject!) The show was about RICE and the relationship between the Japanese aesthetic, its culture and of course food and sustenance.
    It turns out that RICE has many metaphors. I started out liking the idea of working toward excellence...the communal from beginnings in the field to the home. Then came the aesthetic...white rice in a black lacquer bowl, covered and presented often as the only communal food at a Japanese table. But what surprised me and was most intriguing as a lover of history was that Japan has managed to incorporate the other into their culture many times making the other its own. The arrival of Rice from Southeast Asia is one of those times.
    So in my world...not rejecting the other in our country is ver important. America is the other and we have managed to bring in to our country many waves of people from all pats of the world. A good wish for our future I thought. So RICE it is! There is something in the metaphors for our country and for me in my artistic attempts. And you got this all rolling with your thoughtful "a word for the year" journey. Happy New Year! Ann


I know it takes time to leave a comment. I truly appreciate it when you do. Thanks!