What in the heck is “widdershins”, you’re probably asking? Well, according to the book of the same name by Charles de Lint (my other Very Favorite Author), “to walk ‘widdershins’ is to walk counterclockwise or backward around something. It’s a classic pathway into the fairy realm. It’s also the way people often back slowly into the relationships that matter, the real ones that make for a life.”
So why did I pick widdershins as my topic for W? Because, although the other topics suggested to me were all good possibilities (“writing, whimpering, whines, worries, Wondering. Wandering. Wonderful. Willful. Water. Waste. Waffle House.”), this one struck me when I came in my studio just now to lay on the floor and stretch my back (because, ow, it’s hurting. again/still).
I looked up, and the book Widdershins was looking back at me.
And, as I am wont to do, I looked up the word origin on dictionary.com, and it is thus:
1510s, chiefly Scottish, originally “contrary to the course of the sun or a clock” (movement in this direction considered unlucky), probably from Middle Low German weddersinnes, literally “against the way” (i.e. “in the opposite direction”), from widersinnen “to go against,” from wider “against” (see with ) + sinnen “to travel, go,” from Old High German sinnen, related to sind “journey”.
And as I read the etymology and re-read the meaning per de Lint (and said it a few times, because it’s a really fun word to say), it occurred to me that, well, I myself am in a time of widdershins. All my life, as long as I can remember, I’ve been and wanted to be a writer. Yet, I spent 20 years in a marketing career which sucked my soul dry (sometimes. not always) and silenced my muse (because I was too tired to pay her any mind), and now, my illnesses are bringing me low and I can’t do that work full time. Even tho I am very good at it, and I do want to work, I literally cannot.
But despite the pain and the insomnia and the suffering I’ve been going through lately, I took on this writing challenge (though I was still debating, right up to the last minute), to write every day for the month of April. I may have gotten behind on some days I just didn’t have the energy, and I may not have written the best posts ever written in the history of blogs, but by golly, I wrote.
I guess the universe is sending me backwards into a relationship that matters to me, more than anything: my relationship with words and stories and sharing and helping. I guess I’m widdershinning. #AMWRITING
(PS: I’m part Scottish and part German. Coincidence?)