I am a tny bird clinging to the spinning orb of Mother Earth. When the time for choosing (if one chooses to choose) a so-called “word” for the year, what do I pick?


Seemingly incongruous. All those “words” are profound and trite all at once.

It’s only an exercise to trick you into writing more, sketching more, an artificial jumpstart for a new year — itself a created way to attempt to break time into manageable chunks. An unending line between birth and death would be too direct.

“What speaks to you?”

“What has something to teach you?” This I heard last night from the video of a truly lovely and generous French artist.

The last time I completely relaxed, something terrible happened. I intellectually understand the two events are not connected. And yet.

It was October, 2005. I have been happy since, of course. I walk, sing, am gloriously in love, work hard and sometimes participate in causing certain small tectonic shifts in our local political landscape. I cook, grow herbs, talk with friends although I keep them at more of a distance than is fair to either them or me, and am truly myself only with my love and my dog.

But relax?

Never. I don’t even listen to music with a headset on because something might happen that needs my full attention. There. Neurosis exposed.

The full immersion of attention required by playing the piano or (especially) writing more than two paragraphs at a sitting, has eluded me.

So, does the word and concept of “relax” have something to say to me? Oh, hell yes. And maybe I have something to say back. This idea of “relax” is not an all’s well time for a nap thing. It’s a relaxing into so I can breathe. This has to come before focus, before concentration, before being able to lose myself in any creative endeavor.

Relax. My concept for 2022.

One thought on “relax”

  1. Ahh, Beth: so simple and so difficult. And such a good word to guide you through this arbitrary sectioning of time: 2022. When I am on the table to get radiation treatments, the therapists position me, tug a bit of skin this way and the hip the other way, adjust my head just so, pull one arm a little further up and tuck my chin a little more to the right–and when they are finished tweaking my body to be a perfect fit for the radiation, before they skedaddle into the other room and close the door for their safety, they say, “Now relax your body into the table.” Every time, I laugh inside at the absurdity of this thing called living.

    Right this minute, I breathe with you–me here in the Sacramento Valley and you there, maybe writing at your desk, maybe walking in your woods. My wish for you this year is to keep relaxing into creativity. We need your voice.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: