I signed up to get daily prompts during December from Reverb 10 (an “online initiative to reflect on your year and manifest what’s next”), as I thought it might be an opportunity to write a bit more, despite the words “manifest” and “reverberate” making me wince a little. But I’m not that good at actually writing in response to daily prompts, particularly during December, so here’s a couple of responses all in one post.
December 1 – One Word. Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you?
The ‘one word for the year’ is a bit of a thing among those vaguely new-agey self-improvement circles online – and it depends on my mood as to whether I think this is a valuable or pointless idea. I actually did choose a word for this year, back in January, which was “rhythm” – it connected with a couple of goals of mine, such as playing more music and being more organised. And while I did play a lot more music (and learnt to play a new instrument) this year, the more organised thing didn’t really happen. I still put things off far too long – if anything, this year has kind of carried me along with it. So if I was going to select a word for it – let’s go with “floating”. And a word for next year? Summit. As in, climbing towards it. I’d like to be less carried by the current.
December 2 – Writing. What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing — and can you eliminate it?
My writing is so sporadic that I don’t think it even deserves the term “my writing”. And as for what doesn’t contribute to it – I don’t contribute to it, by not devoting enough time to it. See above tendency to put things off.
December 3 – Moment. Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors).
The way I review my year is my scrolling through the 2010 folder on my photo hardrive, each folder within that one labelled with the date and vague descriptions that drive the husband insane. (“What the hell is ‘pumpkins, self portraits, cake’?” he says in exasperated tones. Why, exactly what it says.)
One of my most vivid alive moments this year was playing at the world record attempt at the Cairns Ukulele Festival – being surrounded by hundreds and hundreds of other people strumming and singing and smiling, the press of people who loved music and the instrument. My fingers hurting from playing 7 minutes of the same chords over and over. The bloke on stage singing the verses of Achey Breakey Heart over and over again in a relentlessly cheerful way. And it was a fantastic moment nevertheless – a great vibe.
December 4 – Wonder. How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year?
Walking towards our house at night and looking up to see the stars and the moon spread out through the dark silhouettes of the trees. Singing gospel. Getting out of my comfort zone and seeing new things – amazing musicians, and very intense sci-fi fans. Capturing little bits of life with my camera.