Despite my angst surrounding choices (see last month’s posting), VOICE quickly popped into my head as my word for 2019. If the concept of choosing a word to inspire you each year is new, check out “word for the year,”
- I joined a women’s chorus in late December, so this word underlines how brave I am being to step out of my comfort zone and into a new kind of commitment to music. This is a big deal for me. So,
2. So yeah, I’m trying to be brave. To own who I am, to share myself. To allow my voice to be heard–even insist upon it. VOICE is a good reminder to myself to remember that goal. I write it at the front of my journals. I don’t want to forget.
3. It also covers a lot of territory. VOICE has many meanings that I can play around with, an important consideration when choosing a word that needs to last for a whole year’s exploration. My mind teems with considerations, with questions about voice.
In writing, it can refer to a character’s voice, the voice of narration (sometimes the same thing), and the authorial voice. Every book has an overall voice. Often that’s what will make you enjoy reading it–or not. So exploring voices is a giddy playground for my writing life!
Then there’s sound. The speaking voice, the singing voice. Quality of tone. There are some voices I just want to listen to–it doesn’t even matter what they say. Just let me bask in the vibrations. I don’t know where that will take me, if anywhere.
We voice opinions. Is this always wise? How do we know when to speak up, when to keep silent? The one quote I have memorized from Abraham Lincoln: “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt.” Hm. But that’s not very brave, or proactive, to keep our ideas to ourselves.
And what about the concept of speaking just to hear our own voice (“I’m alive!”), or to ensure that others know we’re there? Does “voice” equate with identity? And does it have to be verbal? In other words, is an introvert’s essence/presence/voice made known by a smile, a softening of the face, a touch on the shoulder? Or a clenched fist for that matter. Body language as voice.
And therefore, is whatever speaks about you part of your voice? What about how I keep my home? Am I voicing something by being a slob? Actions, inactions–more voice.
When you add up all these voices, what are we telling people about who we are and what matters to us?
I’m starting to have the urge to go into a dark closet and pull a blanket over my head. It’s that panic: I know I am saying something just by living my life. Is it what I want to say? Is it what I want people to hear from me? And so, I’m back to my issues with choices.
I have a voice. What will I say?