For the past three years I've been selecting a Word-of-the-Year to set my intentions instead of making resolutions which I tended to forget as soon as I make them. This was based on something I read by musician Christine Kane and I've found it to be monumental in my life. Such a small gesture that is such a great guide.
I've been journaling for many years and beginning in 2010 I began to create a journal in honour of the word I select. These journals consist of 250 pages and include almost daily writing, sketches, the odd painting, my annual horoscope, and sometimes shopping lists. I don't limit them to anything in particular and never travel without one.
I also have necklaces hand stamped with the word...it's such a pleasure to go back and look at them, and to wear them, too. They are so beautiful and created by many talented artisans - Christine Taylor (my current necklace is in the second photo), Beki Hastings, Lisa Leonard, Stacy de la Rosa.
FEARLESS: My 2010 word as I found I was getting caught up in the fear of how I was perceived by others and the fear of failure. Whenever I noticed fear in myself, I would focus on my word and it helped me to overcome challenges, it actually helped me to be brave.
SURRENDER: I decided that 2011 would be a year of letting go of my history of control...of self and others...and allowing things to happen. And, boy, did things happen. Yes, both good and bad, but always in the end for the better.
STILL: For 2012 I wanted to grow both as an artist and human being, and remembered the verse in Psalm 46:10 - 'Be still'. I tend to feel like I have to do everything, you know, that sense of obligation. Not only because I feel I should but because I worry that I don't do enough. I actually went through a physical injury that forced stillness, and it seemed that everything that needed doing got done. And I felt so much more peace in my life by allowing it.
For the past month I've been wondering about my word for 2013...actually I've been thinking of it occasionally since summer and the Serenity Prayer which was read at my graduation many, many years ago kept coming back to me:
God Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
WISDOM: And, so I've finally chosen my word for 2013. I am seeking the wisdom to trust my heart when I feel a pull to do something or head in a certain direction, and also to say 'no' or to stop whenever necessary...for me.
This is how I've been spending these grey, cold, snowy days by the fire...homemade pumpkin spice latte and a great book. I love biographies, especially of artists whom I admire. A number of years ago I saw a Lawren Harris exhibit at the Winnipeg Art Gallery and it took my breath away. Prior to that, I was always a Tom Thompson fan even though he never really officially made it as a member of the original Group of Seven (tragically and mysteriously dying - murdered? - before the group officially formed).
There have been a few instances in my life where paintings have affected me so much that I was brought to tears, and the exhibit of his large iceberg pieces by Harris was one of them. It was as though I physically felt the presence of God in the room and I wept for joy. I sat and absorbed the work for a long, long time and returned to view the exhibit on several occasions. Each time the work moved me in the same way.
So, though I've read many stories about the Group of Seven, and in particular, Lawren Harris, this book seems to delve even deeper into his life from his family history to his death. I'm in heaven.
AIRdirondack Art Project