While it is often satisfying to make extravagant goals and plans at the outset of a New Year, this year will be different. It must be. Too much uncertainty of the moment and too much awareness of how wrong so much of "normal" was. More on that in another musing.
I have decided to participate in one practice, though, and declare a "Word of the Year" for 2021. If you are not familiar with the concept of a "Word of the Year" (or "One Little Word" project) it involves the practice of choosing a word to focus on, contemplate, investigate, and even frame the new year. The practice was begun by Ali Edwards in 2006 and has grown into a movement. I had a word for 2020, but I had to chuck it out the window in March for reasons that should be obvious.
My word for 2021? It is COUNTERPOINT.
It's a word with many possible interpretations. I'll start with Merriam-Webster at https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/counterpoint.
coun·ter·point | \ ˈkau̇n-tər-ˌpȯint \Definition of counterpoint1a: a complementing or contrasting item : OPPOSITE
b: use of contrast or interplay of elements in a work of art (such as a drama)
2a: one or more independent melodies added above or below a given melody
b: the combination of two or more independent melodies into a single harmonic texture in which each retains its linear character : POLYPHONYcounterpoint
counterpointed; counterpointing; counterpoints
Definition of counterpoint
1: to set off or emphasize by juxtaposition : set in contrastcounterpoints the public and the private man— Tom Bishop
2: to compose or arrange in counterpoint
I'm interested in creating a 2021 that acts as a bridge between 2019, 2020, and the future. Not creating a new universe, a new world, from scratch. Choosing parts to keep, parts to get rid of, and parts to invent -- but all the parts in orchestration together. Not just harmonized and pretty, but a COUNTERPOINT. This year can be (must be) a year that transitions what was, what is, and what can be. The things that we do must work towards this. Our actions this year must be in COUNTERPOINT to our past actions. Not in a way that ignores the past, but in a way that is deliberately creating a future built with deep intentionality.