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Follow Your Appetite, Find Your Word

| written by Nina Coyle | 10 comments

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.

That’s right. 

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.

Nina Coyle is a breakfast enthusiast, practicing writer and returned Nashvillian. She delights in cardamom-spiced coffee, warm Celtic tunes and deep community. In 2015, she released Heaven in the Harbor, an eBook of poems for the ordinary-in-between. These days, you can follow her trail of words on Instagram.


Shelia: Oh my goodness, yes!! Poet, you are, but never too much. I love this. And you. Reply

    Nina: Thank you, friend. So glad to have those who will live into the word with me! Reply

      Alece Ronzino: I think the 3 of us may need to partake in some charcuterie together this year... Reply

        Nina: Yes, please!

Gayle Glick: TRY Reply

Raquel Coyle: Proud momma my Ninay! Since elementary days you have that creative mind . Remember “if hands were feet and feet were hands?” Or spaghetti noodle ate your teacher? Third grade ... so much more. Reply

    Nina: Ha. Thanks, Mom! Looks like I've been writing about food from the beginning. :) Reply

ilianagenkova: I love your word for 2019, it’s delicious to begin with and a beautiful metaphor too. Curious what would you “put on it” in the next 12 months :) Reply

    Nina: Hi Iliana! Thanks for your kind words. A few weeks in, I'd say the word has been a reminder to lean into community and the healing power of coming together. It's pointed me toward gratitude for the ordinary and natural abundance of this season... things like good poetry, fresh flowers, spiced tea & the pairing of an apple and black peppered toscano cheese. Would love to hear what your 2019 word is! Reply

      Iliana: Hi Nina, I chose Write as my 2019 word :) Writing has been on my mind for a while now and it was time to make it a priority. As a result I guest blogged, I taught memoir writing in the spring, started a writing group and one of my essays was accepted and will be published in October in an e-journal. Thrilled! Reply

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