For the first time, I’ve boarded the word for the year train. These sorts of things have to show up at your door unannounced, and for whatever reason, my bell never rang.
For a while, Miska’s had these annual encounters where a word arrives, vivid and undeniable. Given that I’ve married a mystic, I’ve found myself imagining what these moments are like for her. I’m sure she appreciates that. I imagine my mystic wife walking over the knoll of one of Ireland’s green hills (where else would such a fantasy be?). The grey mist knits a silky silhouette of her lovely shape. There’s always music, haunting Irish music. Then the word appears. The word may be aflame or carved into a rock. My favorite is when the word arrives from the voice of a man who has (of course) a strong Irish lilt, a man who is (of course) St. Patrick.
This year, I love Miska’s word. A future year, I could imagine it being mine. But it’s not – and that’s the crucial revelation. You can’t snag another person’s word. You can’t even snag another person’s conviction that you need to have a word. You can’t steal another’s word and you can’t steal another’s life and you can’t steal another’s voice or opportunity or physique. You have to find your own — find your own way, find your own self.
You’ll never meet your surprise guest so long as you’re waiting at everyone else’s front door.