Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Word of the Year 2020: Build 1: After the Floods

Washington State Park, Missouri. October 2009.

In 2018, my word of the year was Courage.
In 2019, Action.

This year: Build.

I've gone round and round about the best word for 2020 to describe what I'd like to do in the coming year. Build. Create. Foundation. Connect.

Build doesn't quite do the trick, but it is good enough. And, "good enough," I've found, is often ..... good enough. Good enough to keep oneself from staying lost, good enough to enrich one's finite time on the planet, and good enough to prepare one's body and spirit for the inevitable vicissitudes to come.

Mineral Spring Park, Borjomi, Caucasus Georgia. April 2012.

My pen name, Mzuri, has two meanings for me.

One is its translation from Swahili: fine, good.

Another is that it sounds like the name, Missouri, as in the river.

As with the desert, a river is both beautiful and deadly, indiscriminately. 

My ''house" was built - generations before my birth - on a river flood plain. I was born on the flood plain, grew up on the flood plain, spent a goodly amount of my adult life on the flood plain.

Periodically, floods came into my house, then retreated. I could right overturned furniture, sweep and mop much - never all - of the mud left behind, launder soiled clothes and curtains and rugs. For most of my life, I had not the vision to see that the foundation of my house needed repair. Well, and I really didn't want to see it, anyway. It would cost too much to fix, and I didn't have the resources to do that.

... let's fast forward through the flood analogy, shall we?

Eventually, I did see the failing foundation, and I gathered some resources to repair it, with some success. Until the next flood, then the one after, and the one after - which simply washed away the house, leaving behind the repaired foundation.

This past year, I've been living in a tent next to that foundation, the house above it gone.

I could choose to rebuild on that foundation in that flood plain. But no, I think not.

Mtkvari River, near Rustavi, Caucasus Georgia. September 2011.

Instead, I'm going to build a new home on a new foundation, within sight of the beautiful river, but on higher ground, in stable soil, and in connection with people who live in the light.

Hahahahaha, not that I'm ready to plop down my physical roots yet.

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