Here we are entering the final month of the calendar year, and I’m delighted December is being ushered in with an invitation to play in Reverb15, hosted by Kat McNally. For 21 days we’ll be prompted to reflect on what’s gone on this year and peek into what we’re holding in our hearts for next year. The theme for this year’s Reverb is Alchemy. What a delicious container and one dear to my heart, so I’m quite looking forward to this. I do hope you’ll consider playing along – check out participation details here and scope out the responses of people playing with today’s prompt here.
What sorts of lists do you have on the go at the moment? What do they suggest you are praying for?”
The most pragmatic lists I have going are to-dos. For the last few months I’ve been experimenting with using the 135 list app, which encourages you to set one large, three medium and five small tasks to work on each day. Overall I like it – there’s something so satisfying about ticking off a box after you’ve completed a task; and it’s helped me set some reasonable boundaries and expectations of what I can actually accomplish during a day. But at other times I find myself chafing at this kind of list, as I’m really much happier when I’m open to take action on what is inspiring me in the moment.
I really prefer more abstract and creative lists. One of my favorites in the moment is a complicated, multi-branched affair in which I’m keeping track of various aspects of an extensive aromatherapy blending project I’m working on. Blending essential oils always seems a bit alchemical to me, and my complex and elaborate list chart would no doubt please a master alchemist. I love this kind of visual list so more than just bulleted items. And so of course I’m in love with the tome by Manuel Lima The Book of Trees: Visualizing Branches of Knowledge. It’s filled with hundreds of illustrations of various informational diagrams.
I also love my lists of topics for the book I’m writing. I created it as a tree, with each topic a leaf. It makes me smile every time I look at it.
For the past several years, one of the things I do at the end of each year is create a Blurb book filled with photos and highlights of the year. I include a number of lists in the books, and one of them is my dreams. I’m a prolific dreamer and take great delight in my sleeping mind’s theater, and of course I title all my nighttime adventures. So then I have the added amusement of seeing what kind of dada-esque poem is created when I list out the titles. For example, here are just a few of my nocturnal engagements:
- Not the Proper Place to Leave the Ladder
- Mailbox Haul includes Polish Man’s Suit
- What Crazy Thing Did I Ask For?
- Orange & Green Feathers on my Legs
- Hidden Room & Demanding Guests with Raisins on a String
- Busted as Incompetent Spies
- Strange Eggs
- Uniform Prototypes and Surgically Removed Eyebrows
- Awkward Nudist
- Outing the Bagel Eater
Now tell me, does that make you wish you had access to my brain, or are you ready to back away gingerly?
And given my various lists, what do you suppose I’m praying for?
Perhaps it’s clarity, organization, and productivity. Or is the blending of science and magic? Or is it to draw from deeply rooted wisdom, branch out, and produce some very fine leaflets? Maybe it’s to make sense of the ideas dancing in my sleeping brain so I can carry that guidance into my waking life. Or perhaps I’m just praying to remember that creative expression and laughter are what help keep my feet on the joy trail.
What about you? What lists are you keeping? Do tell – you know I love to hear.