My word for 2014 came to me during the summer.

I read a blog post where the writer quoted Mary Oliver's Wild Geese and this line jumped out at me and grabbed me by the throat —

let the soft animal of your body love what it loves. 

Even more, the word soft echoed against my insides, like the vibrations of a tuning fork. I whispered this to a friend later that week and she smiled, saying it made sense.

For me, the year of risk was harsh. Pointed. I have a lot of bruises from last year—a lot of scars that are going to take a while to heal. And at multiple times I've mentioned how grief and love can bludgeon those sharp pieces into something smooth.

I think this is where I rest now. I'm sitting in the post-bludgeoning. 

I am not the same person I was when I started this whole one-word-for-the-year business. 

I am not naïve—I know the way a single word can turn you inside out and right again. I know the innocence of stating "this is where I am laying my flag in the ground" only to have you look back and laugh at the end of twelve months because if you don't laugh you may cry.

Jubilee brought the freedom. Abide brought the rest. Risk brought the bludgeoning. Each of them holding a beauty unique to the awakening involved.

So now, I'm going soft. I imagine it will look a lot like reacquainting myself with who I am under this flesh and bone. 


There are multiple ways I keep the word on the tip of my tongue throughout the year, and in 2014 I plan on using this playlist as well as wearing as much as possible the necklace I purchased from the Giving Keys with SOFT engraved on the metal. Do you have a word? How do you keep it close throughout the year?

Posted on January 1, 2014 and filed under soft.