The Annual Words

So, my word of the year…

Last year my word was empathy. It made sense right from the get-go. I knew it was something that I really needed to work on, and everything in my path helped me, guided me towards it.

Lake Superior, which has nothing to do with my words. But a lot to do with my sanity, so…

This year? I couldn’t pin anything down. OK, I probably didn’t try very hard. I’m sure if I really sat down and demanded action, my mind would find a common theme, my heart would settle upon a softened patch of soil. But I didn’t set aside that time this year. (Come to think of it, this seems to be the theme of my year. Yikes.) I think I wanted it to just fall in my lap, slap me in the face, roll its eyes at me, like last year.

Well, that just wasn’t happening. Until it did. July 2nd. Only a wee bit over halfway through the year. Not terrible.

So the word? It’s three words. Three words that are irretrievable joined. Three words that depend upon one another almost as much as I depend on chocolate.

I. Don’t. Know.

Honestly, I don’t know how I’ve been so blind to it. It did drop in my lap. It certainly slapped me in the face. There were eye rolls everywhere.

As always, I’m a little slow on the uptake.

I’ve been Orthodox for over 16 years, and I’m still shedding the skins of my many past lives. Shedding the dead parts, anyway. All along the way, there was God, there was light, and the path was paved with more grace than I could ever ask for, but there was plenty of basement detritus deposited along the way as well, and it is sticky, grimy stuff. Clings tight. Like decades-old dust and cobwebs in a humid climate, the veil of ick can weld itself to the mind, to the heart; and it takes more than a gentle shower to find the gleam of the untarnished soul.

At this point, I’ve gone through an embarrassing number of power-washes, taken a trip or two through the martinizers, and even hired the Service Master guy to take a go at my mess, but still, it seems, the stains bleed through and I remain firmly and irrevocably human.

It’s a little disappointing, if we’re going to be completely honest. But it’s nice to know I’ll never run out of Areas In Need Of Improvement.

This year, it seems, is the year to work on the art of Not Knowing.

Left and right, I am reminded that black and white is but an illusion. No, more of a delusion. I’m learning that no matter how black and white things seem to me, it is only so because I do not know enough. I haven’t taken the matter to the trenches, where my blackness and my whiteness come up against real life, with real, human faces. And when the rubber meets the road, and I am confronted with the real issue, in real life, f’real, there is always another side. The previously unknown whiteness meets my frankly ugly blackness and it is clear that we live our lives in forty-million shades of grey.

Then we mix in some colors, just for fun.

Black and white are only for paint cans.

I’m grateful for all the slaps in the face, no matter how hard they are to deal with. I’m grateful for being forced to face my own ineptitude, no matter how painful the conversation. And I’m grateful for the moments when I can accept enough grace to emerge with thrown up hands.

I. Don’t. Know.

One more particle of filth dislodged from the fabric of my stubborn skin.

But still I am amazed. I am amazed every time a new cache of crap manifests itself. I am amazed each day that I am confronted with more of this messy life that shows me quite clearly how much I don’t know.

Most of all, I am amazed that even with this steadily swelling oil-tanker of evidence that shows me what I don’t know, I still think I know.

Throw me any new situation—one that hasn’t been yet tested in the waters of Krista’s arrogance—sometimes even one that has—and I am painfully quick to jump on the ingrained soapbox, convinced that I know more than you, and more than that guy, and certainly more than that guy.

Why is that? Why am I so slow to learn my own weaknesses? How, in the name of all that works together into the magic that is chocolate, can I still think that I am the possessor of All Knowledge?

Anyway, this is the year to take a breath, and to leave a little more space for not knowing. To leave a little room for being wrong, and a little time for cutting through a few more layers of built-up gunk and gack. Bring on the Light.

Here’s to it,

8 thoughts on “The Annual Words

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  1. Krista, I love this so much. Particularly when you said that seeing black and white means we haven’t learned enough. And that black and white are for paint cans. 🙂 Beautiful. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Krista, Thank you for your words, expressed so dearly, so importantly, so emotionally. 

    What a reminder to me, as well.  Thank you for being a person who would consider the things you have considered, wrestle with them, and feel them.  I’m glad to know you, or at least be on a path of getting to know you. I’m deeply grateful to you for all the work you are putting out to make a play possible.  It’s so much more than just a play.  It’s building community and relationships, learning about ourselves and others, working to accomplish something bigger than ourselves, and…I’ve never been part of a play before, so…I’ll find out more.  I’m looking forward to what is to come.  You are a very big part of making this happen, or guiding and directing a large happening.  What courage, bravery, determination, and gusto.  Thank you!!! 


    Liked by 1 person

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