1 a :Â to scatter (as seed) upon the earth for growth; broadlyÂ
2 b :Â to strew with or as if with seed
3 c :Â to introduce into a selected environmentÂ
4 d :Â to set in motion :Â <sow suspicion>
5 e :Â to spread abroadÂ
I like the One Word 365 idea. Instead of New Year’s resolutions, it asks you to search that unseen depth of yourself for a single word that you can use for the year as a guide. I like to sit quietly for a few minutes and just say words to myself until one sort of “sticks” or feels “right.”
That’s what happened with last year’s word Devotion, and it’s turned out to be significant. I narrowed my focus of study down to creative writing and then even further to poetry. It’s been a perfect fit. I love the challenge and the work. I’m writing bad poems and some that have promise. In any case, I’m writing and learning and rewriting. I’m reading as much poetry as I can find: decoding how Plath uses unexpected words, how Bishop works in received forms, how Kenyon exposes an image. I devoted myself and have been rewarded personally and in the very real terms of an MFA fellowship at Creighton.
This year I feel drawn to the word Sow. I know it has a lot to do with my writing because I’ll start submitting in earnest this summer and fall. But it also has to do with my life in general, I think. Sowing healthy habits into my family. Sowing love into my relationships. Sowing a hunger for learning into my students. Always and in everything, sowing hope into the darkness of the world.
It’s work, I know. I’m not pretending it will be a clean or easy process. But I can only prepare my own soil. In everyone and everything else, I can only plant a seed. Only toss my poems out for the editors to accept or reject. Only remind my son that his online activity is as real as his face-to-face interactions. Only push seeds of unconditional love and acceptance into the hearts of my smart and beautiful daughters and hope their soil gives it food to grow.
I can only sow. And I’m hoping that remembering that will help take off the pressure and the fear of how my seeds are going to be received and just let them go. I can only sow.
So how about you? Have you considered a One Word 365 for 2014? I’d love to know what it is if you want to share it in the comments. And feel free to blog about it andÂ sign up here with the other One Word people. Or just hold it close to your own heart and make everyone wonder. Your call.