A new year, a new challenge! This month’s Swagger challenge came from Heidi Mordhorst. After we’d been discussing whether or not we each were going to choose a One Little Word (OLW) for the year, she announced that “To Word or Not To Word” would be our group’s January challenge.
OLWs. I’ve chosen one before…maybe two..or three? I know I didn’t choose one last year. Did I the year before? Scrolling back through blog posts, I find that I have chosen OLWs two times. In 2016, I chose “Choose” and in 2018, I chose “Pause.” It seems to be an even-year sort of phenomenon–which makes me feel like I’m due in 2020.
As I reread those posts, I enjoyed reconsidering the reflective process I went through to select the words, and where I was in my life when I wrote them. I remembered that I always liked the focus of OLW, how it pushed a word or an idea to the forefront my mind. I enjoyed the process of considering words and their shades of meanings. So, did I want to choose a word this year?
As we head into 2020, even without regarding the state of our world, our nation, I’m feeling a bit out of kilter. My youngest graduated from college last month, and my oldest is getting married in May. My middle child lives a rich, independent life more than a day’s comfortable car ride away. The chicks have not only emptied the nest, they’re now building their own. Which leaves me, mama bird, looking around wondering, “What’s next?” I have many interests, but sometimes they pull me in different directions. All too often, I feel scattered and unfocused. Could OLW help me with that?
I ponder words
some heavy, some light
I weigh words in my mind
sift, sort, and shuffle them,
consider the possibilities,
reflect on my recent lack of discipline–
list after unfinished list– and
my new unfortunate tendency
Again and again,
I return to one word:
a powerful contender.
I turn it over in my mind
pleased by the layered meaning,
the nod to photography.
Could this be it?
But, what about bokeh–
that much desired
And don’t seeds widely flung
lure flocks of birds
more surely than a concentration
at a single feeder?
Clearly, a steady focus
can accomplish much,
but an eye fixed on the destination
can also miss
the beauty of the journey.
For ultimately, isn’t it scattered light
that creates rainbows?
©Molly Hogan, 2020 (draft)
So, apparently I’ve talked myself out of adopting a OLW this year, though I don’t rule out that one may find me later. It’s a process, right?
Hmmmm….process….Now, there’s an interesting word…
Note: If you’re interested, here’s Wikipedia’s definition of bokeh:
“In photography, bokeh (/ˈboʊkə/ BOH-kə or /ˈboʊkeɪ/ BOH-kay; Japanese: [boke]) is the aesthetic quality of the blur produced in the out-of-focus parts of an image produced by a lens. Bokeh has been defined as “the way the lens renders out-of-focus points of light”.
And here are two of my photos that demonstrate it.
The year’s first Poetry Friday Roundup is hosted by Carol at Carol’s Corner. She’s sharing a wonderful poem by Maya Angelou, and I highly recommend that you stop by and read it. And then read it again. And again. (And here’s the link to the Roundup!)
Then, visit my fellow Swaggers’ sites and see how they responded to the “To Word or not To Word” challenge. Just click on the links below:
Linda at A Word Edgewise
Heidi at My Juicy Little Universe
Margaret at Reflections on the Teche, and
Catherine at Reading to the Core