Have you ever wished your word could be served up fresh on a big, fancy platter? Hours of reading, journaling, and Pinterest-browsing still leaving you hungry? In my five rounds of practice with One Word 365, I’ve come to know intimately that the year-end search can feel all-consuming. What I never expected? Perhaps, my word *is* what I’m consuming.
Charcuterie (n.)—literally, a collection of cured meats.
(Charming, right? Write that one on your mirror.)
Here begins my defense of the meat & cheese board.*
To be clear, when I first claimed ‘charcuterie’ as my 2019 word, it was a joke. The word emerged as a quick-and-snarky musing after a friend observed my dinner, an overflowing bounty of items plated directly from their Trader Joe’s packaging.
Sure, I quickrinsed the blueberries, cut the apple, microsteamed the snap peas. I shredded the turkey and sliced the New Zealand cheddar. I even opened the Italian crackers, garnished with sea salt and rosemary. It was just an easy, festive, Instagrammy meal. Or, so I thought.
There are endless ways to determine a word for the year. For some, it is a practice of faith. Perhaps for others, it is a practice of hope and humor.
When I broke off pieces of that fancy wafer for last night’s meal, I was reminded of a moment in the eucharist liturgy. Each week in our faith community gathering, there is a gap when the celebrant stops talking and lifts a different wafer in the air… creating a sacramental silence that’s usually just. long. enough. for me to notice, lift my gaze and catch the click of bread breaking. My wandering mind will waltz straight out of the room until that—pause—and—snap—awakens my senses to the chair beneath me and the neighbors around me… everyone there to be reminded of our holy belonging to it All.
Charcuterie. Maybe this glorified grown-up snack plate is an apt symbol of so much I want to lean into for this new year? Simply prepared, with subtle decadence. A nod to childhood, slightly refined. Communal. Placed with intention. Often surrounded by story. Welcoming of nearly anything on hand—or in pantry. Earthy. Abundant.
Call me too much of a poet. Call it too stretched of a metaphor…
But there was something just cheeky/charming/tasty enough about the whole event that brought me to call this one a keeper. “Charcuterie.” It is neither precious nor destined for a custom-made necklace. But, it is the word that tumbled straight out from my mouth. And, I am learning to listen more closely to that voice—the first time.
So, here’s to 2019, dear readers. Especially to those of you still searching…
May your word fire your heart,
May your work feed your soul,
And in the mean time—care to join me in a feast?
*As if brie, prosciutto and fig jam E V E R needed defending.