My 2016 Word for the Year was "Solo". It was effective and helped me navigate storms I never saw coming.
2017 word is "nuance".
a subtle difference in colour, meaning, tone, etc; a shade or graduation
verb (transitive; passive)
to give subtle differences to: carefully nuanced words.
C18: from French, from nuer to show light and shade, ultimately from Latin nūbēs a cloud
As I scratch to find common ground and purpose at the end of 2016 (a shit show by most standards), my greatest obstacle is binary thinking, absence of nuance. I was lectured quite definitively about "fight or flight" when a gun enthusiast questioned if I had the guts to take a life to protect my own. As a victim of gun violence, I shared the nuance of what actually happens when a gun is at your head. I think we found common ground there and I'm glad for the conversation.
That conversation eventually hit an impasse but even my progressive friends have left me flat with their own popular "love or fear" world view. I have tried but I can't assimilate that narrow choice and apply to my own emotional state. I wish I could. I'm jealous of the clarity but unable to find inspiration or comfort there. Can't hating something be part of the chiaroscuro of love in action? Can't a person fight something by turning away from it? Shouldn't a person show up to defend what is right in a democracy before 20/20 hindsight makes everything perfectly clear? I owe it to myself and my country to observe the nuance in individual experience; to struggle for deeper understanding before charging ahead.
"Doing it right" is impossible in this clumsy mass of emotions and experience that is "me". I'll say the wrong things and I'll tend to my ugly feelings in ugly ways but I'll try to do better. I suspect other good people feel the same; cowed and quiet or crippled by rage due to impossible choices fomented through media machines, political agenda, familial loyalty, educational bias, sexual urges, parenting anxiety and marketing hacks. I'd like to get to know more about those experiences. I think it will require more face to face time. I know it will require an easily replenished well of forgiveness for myself and others.
The origins are from the Latin "cloud". I was waiting to find a word that felt more definitive, more clear but that isn't going to happen. It is my job to find the lines to draw and the edges to soften. It can't be all broad strokes although sometimes they are required.
2017 I will move forward, embracing the lack of clarity, walk in the clouds, armed only with the confidence that I know the difference between piss on my leg and a soft Spring rain.
"Miss Get Over It Series" will be on display at The Osborn Woods Gallery at The Miners Foundry starting January 12.