“Words, like glass, darken whatever they do not help us to see.”
– Joubert, Pensees
Thank you to Gretchen Rubin’s daily happiness email for that thoughtful quote. But it’s true isn’t it?
When I decided to use words as the focus of my 100-day project for 2016, I understood the inherent power they yield.
Today is 100/100 and the word I’ve chosen to celebrate my achievement is ‘Firework’, because it connotes celebration, success, happiness – and on this occasion perhaps even a whiff of relief. This day has (finally) arrived.
Day 100/100: ‘Firework(s)’ – because today is a celebration of 100 days of creativity & fireworks celebrate happiness, success & special things. Yeah! #100daysofmyfavouritewords #the100dayproject #100days #100words #words #firework #fireworks #celebration #success #achievement #party #partytime #blackandwhite #monochrome #sparks #accountability #habits #thankyou #theend
It also conjures the joy of bright colour on a dark night, childish excitement, danger, power, spontaneity, laughter and that smell of sulphur in the air. I think words can do all those things too.
Some days I’ve been playful, optimistic and creative with my word choice; other days I’ve been a bit darker in tone, bringing the etymological force of the English language to bear. Hopefully in both cases I’ve inspired others with my ‘daily habit’ linked so intrinsically to my life as a writer. (Hello ‘Alphabet‘ – I couldn’t have done it without you.)
In some cases, perhaps I’ve even introduced a new word to someone, taking them on a brief journey of exploration or an unexpected linguistic tangent? I’d like to think so. (I’m looking at you, ‘Petrichor‘.)
And isn’t it funny how when you focus on a word – perhaps a word that doesn’t crop up in every-day language, like ‘ekphrastic’ or ‘chiaroscuro’ or even ‘synchronicity’ itself – it suddenly appears everywhere as if to say ‘here I am, look at me’ (use me! play with me!)?
A photo posted by Rebecca Johnstone (@daintydora) on
Day 55/100: ‘Chiaroscuro’ – this painting by Tamara de Lempicka is one of my favourite examples. It’s called ‘Young Lady with Gloves’ though I would have called it ‘Lady with the White Gloves’ #100daysofmyfavouritewords #the100dayproject #words #art #tamara #tamaradelempicka #chiaroscuro #cubism #gloves #whitegloves #lady #cherubic #cherubicface #green #greendress
I do have a predilection for personification. I try to resist, but find the new depth – often world – of meaning a personifying verb or adjective brings to the intangible ‘inanimates’ of life…irresistible:
Thoughts that leap. Memories that stir. Happiness that soars. The ‘demonic’ inner critic. Grrr.
A big shout-out to Elle Luna who started the 100-day project, and all the creative friends who shared the journey with me.
Finally, check out last year’s ‘100 days of Haiku‘. What will next year bring?