The first week of August hangs at the very top of summer, the top of the live-long year, like the highest seat of a Ferris wheel when it pauses in its turning. —Natalie Babbitt, Tuck Everlasting
If August is like the highest seat of a Ferris wheel when it pauses in its turning, January is the lowest. It’s the beginning of the ride, the moment in which you strap yourself in and take a deep breath before starting the slow climb.
It’s an exciting time, like the moment before beginning an adventure. All things are possible. We can see the year in our minds with the possibilities spread before us like the view from a Ferris wheel.
There’s a Greek word—meraki—that describes the act of doing something with love, of putting your soul and creativity into it. Anything can be done with meraki, even a mundane task like cleaning, if it’s done with joy and love.
It’s fascinating how easily artists I know lose sight of meraki. When they’re struggling with a draft or dealing with the reality of art that doesn’t live up to their vision, the joyfulness can feel far away. At these times, it’s more important than ever to remind ourselves about what drew us to our art in the first place. Where is the joy? How can we engage with it with a sense of pleasure?
As we begin this circular journey of another year, it’s worth remembering meraki and considering how we can approach things with a sense of joyfulness. Don’t set a joyless resolution; whenever possible, do ordinary things with a sense of love.