Don’s ‘Word of the Year’ (2019)

Don’s ‘Word of the Year’ (2019)
By Don Rush

It’s kinda hard to believe we are already into the second month of the year 2019. Usually by this time of the year, I have already reneged on at last one of my yearly goals. As January played out, however, I was preyed upon by stomach issues (stupid flu bug) and super duper cold, below zero weather (stupid Polar Vortex). It was a long month, and I am behind schedule!
One of the things I like to do in January is set the tone for upcoming year. I close my eyes and flip through the over 2,660-page Webster’s 3rd New International Dictionary, copy-written in 1961, and put my finger on a random word. That’s my Word of the Year — or WOTY for short. Then I have the local ginger dream-weaver, spell-caster, tea-reading Pam B. bring out her set of cards to talk about what the spirit is moving her to show me. I mash my WOTY into her hoo-doo and I get my direction for the year.
This is only my third year of doing this. In the first year my WOTY kinda sucked. Don’t believe me, how would you like your Word of The Year, the one to set your direction for an entire 12 months to be “Naked Bulb?”

I didn’t think you would.

However, with Pam’s help I randomly drew three cards from her decks and got three more pings on the old life sonar, Responsible, Support, Self Determination.
I believe I was able to smash all four words into some semblance of sense — Go forth, naked (figuratively) into the world, be responsible for yourself. Weak, I know, but hey, I was grasping for something, anything.
The Year of Our Lord, Two Thousand and Eighteen, brought me some more awesomer words. My one word from Pam was Valor, “Be courageous. The unmistakable touch of grace will follow us wherever we go,” this card said. And, from the dictionary, round and round my finger went and landed on the word, Honour.
As one steeped, and raised in a toxic, masculine world the words Valor and Honour appealed to me. I ventured into 2018 with a sense of purpose, of honour and was much pleased with the direction.

* * *

Here are the cards Pam, I and the spirits picked.

Here we are, February 2019, and a few days before my birthday I journeyed to Pam’s place for the annual ritual of pulling cards. She shuffled, fanned them out and told me to  “Pick one.” Then, “two,” “three” until she had five cards splayed out before we two.
Five interesting words:


Don’t know about you, or what Pam thought, but right away I saw — see — a connection between all those words, especially Fortify, Protect, Shield and Shelter. But what am I to invest in? Myself? Others? Hmmm? Same with what or who am I to watch-over and make sure no harm comes?
I was still mulling it over in my head when I went back to the old, office dictionary and repeated my actions of the past three years. I closed my eyes and opened to a random page, circled my finger around and stopped. When I opened my eyes I saw I had stopped on Page 1,353. My Word of the Year is one I think I have never read or heard before, “Machaeridia.”

There’s my 2019 WOTY, right there!

It means one of two things. One, from the Latin, meaning “sword or dagger;” and Two, “a small group of Ordovician and Devonian animal fossils that are worm-like and bilaterally symmetrical but enclosed by plates suggesting those of echinoderms, are considered structurally comparable to the dipleurula and ancestral to modern echinoderms, being then made a class of Echinodermata, or are regarded as aberrant barnacles and included among the Cirripedia.”
Don’t know about you, but I take umbrage when regarded as an aberrant barnacle, even if it is true! So, I am gonna’ take the first meanings from Latin, Sword.
Now with the proverbial blade in hand I am to stand guard this year for what?
Truth, justice and the American way?
Why does Uncle Ben’s quote keep popping into my head, “With great power comes great responsibility.”
(And, why did I just quote two comic books, Superman and Spiderman?)
Looks like 2019 is going to be one of those years I venture into with my senses open to possibilities, because I have no clear idea where I’m heading. Good luck with that, right.
If you got any idea, shoot them my way,


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