To propose a theme so early in a project such as this is nerve-wracking. Ashley told me not to overthink it, to which I responded, “but that’s what I do best!” And I’d like to say that I was half-kidding, but I wasn’t. I am an expert in overthinking. More than once in the last week I found my thoughts racing, swarming. Something like this:
HOORAY I get to choose the next theme! We have had such good themes so far! I get so excited when it’s time for a new one! And now it’s time for mine! And everyone will be so excited for my theme, which is…which is what? Oh no, which is what? Thinkthinkthinkthinkthink. Come on, Mullen, pull yourself together. I mean, we had been talking about doing themes that were more like object writing, I mean this is object writing, sort of, but I’m thinking of objects – ocean, dolls, horses, glasses. I did kind of like that idea, but I also like these broader, deeper topics, too, which are almost as flexible. Well it’s my turn, I can choose dogs or headbands or telephones if I want, but we’re already on a roll with this broader, deeper stuff – do I really want to break that streak? But maybe other people would like to write about more concrete stuff, too. Maybe they just need a voice. But maybe they don’t! Maybe I’m the only one who feels this way! Maybe…
At about this point I would breathe into a paper bag. In my mind.
This morning, I was reading “A Writer’s Book of Days” by Judy Reeves, and one word stood out to me as the solution to all my indecision. On this week’s topic, anyway. As you may have gathered, I am lousy at making decisions of any scale. This word, which was not part of her prompts, allowed me not to decide.
The word is sage. I’ve posted a picture of the sage in Taos, New Mexico, but sage can be so much. A plant, yes, and a cooking ingredient, but also a wise person, a word describing a wise person, and so on. This is a word that has such a broad spectrum of meaning in so few letters, and I want you all to run with it. Sagely.