to aim.


I’m not sure when it happened, but it appears during the course of ensuring our kids would be taught how to write a cheque and how to use a condom, we stopped teaching them how to write. We teach them how to spell, we teach them both print and cursive, we teach them which witch is the right witch. We teach them all about the logistics of shooting an arrow, without ever teaching them the importance of aim.

I do not mean that there is a lack of inspiration, of passion, of style and depth to the writing that is produced, there is more passion than I have comma splices. The quiver is full of sharpened arrows of metaphors, similies, framing narratives and style sheets ready for scattered deployment into short stories, essays and poems. It is the determined voice, the sure words and the beautiful logic of aim that I want, it is the intent over the style.

I had the pleasure of having a genuine asshole as a thesis advisor. For years previous to that thesis work, he’d hand back essays  I’d worked myself into delirium over with one single red mark on the front. “Thesis?”.  I’d work, slave, edit, print, re-edit, put myself and my heart into these essays without ever stating, and sometimes ever knowing, what that force was directed by or to. Thesis statements, he instructed, tell the reader what they should expect, it tells them what the writer will attempt to do, it tells them what the writer will prove and it will tell them, if they look closely enough, who that writer is.

That professor helped me see the value of structure, the value of stating your intent and your passion as one unified voice, in one unified statement. He taught me that without a guide to reflect back on and true your course by, you were lost. That no matter how eloquent your words, how strong your passion, how beautiful your similes, that you were aimless. I think that this is what being taught “how” to write really does – it steadies your hand and guides your motives not just on paper, but in life. It teaches a critical thinking that ensures cheque writing and safe sex become not the target but another arrow in your arsenal, guided by greater intent and purpose in your heart and mind.

So, in 2010 I chose to start not with a resolution but with a thesis statement, guided by body paragraphs and soul alike. In this year, dear bloggers, I will seek to be braver. I will do the things that I want to do, instead of believing that I can’t or worse, thinking I can so never trying at all and forgoing that accomplishment. I will take risks, arrows will fly at targets only previously imagined and usually quashed. Above all else, I will live with the grace and consciousness that comes with knowing I may fail at each and every task I undertake; but I will fail with aplomb, I will fail with style, I will fail with laughter and I will fail knowing that I tried my hardest.

I have a shit load of arrows to accomplish this with, in fact, I have 12 of them. 12 resolutions, one for each month, and they are most certainly not culmulative – at no point will I be cooking and blogging/vlogging one new recipe a week while taking music lessons and learning to cha cha. Some of them are big, some of them are small. But they are all sharp, they are all true, and they are aimed with a startling amount of ferocity and faith that only resolutions can possess. In the next couple of days I’ll let you in on them, but for now….

Here is to arrows.

Here is to aim.




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19 responses to “to aim.

  1. I am in love with just about every word in this, and every idea behind it. So good.

  2. Resolving to be braver and to try things is a wonderful resolution in itself! I’m excited to hear the rest. Good luck!

  3. Even with the comma splices, you are an inspiring writer. I love the sentiment of this; you always say things far better than I ever could. xo

    Also, in 2010, you will see me!

  4. this was lovely!
    best of luck on your 2010 thesis!

  5. Great post – very unique from all the other new year-ish posts I’ve been reading lately.

  6. well said.

    …and she raised a toast with her champagne glass to life. she closed her eyes to be surrounded by shadows of those no longer present, family that will always be there, and those compatriots who look towards the future with you. for without friends, it doesn’t matter how many arrows hit the target. or how many miss and go terribly astray when you’re distracted or hungry or tired or all three. or how many fly straight into the ground because someone told the best joke you’ve heard all year and you can’t help but drop everything and revel in the moment, eyes bright with laughter. none of that matters without people to rejoice in you living your life, whatever that means to you.

  7. thepausethatrefreshes

    Cheers to all kinds of aim.

  8. Carlynn

    It seems as though I am a wee bit emotional today, or at least that I have stopped pretending that I’m not always emotional. Today, I have been moved to tears by an affirmation (that I hear myself say every other day without waterworks), by Eve Ensler’s TED talk, by my first foray into Six Feet Under, and now by this beautiful post of yours. Perhaps that’s my unwitting resolution: accept my sorrow, release my anger, and forgive myself. And my body’s just letting me know by having me bawl at everything until I put it together.

    Thank you for your words and for being my constant source of inspiration, dearest.

    p.s. Is February’s resolution to come to Toronto to see your biggest fan? 🙂 *fingers crossed*
    (I would also accept a March or April resolution.)


  9. Inspirational indeed! Here’s to hitting all those targets…with aplomb 🙂

  10. here’s to aim.

    I have one arrow, only one for this year. Oh, but it’s a big one.


  11. That must have been one amazing teacher. The way you piece together a story never fails to astound or inspire me!

  12. ashley

    Simply one of the best and most inspiring pieces of writing I have read. Thank you.

  13. Oh <3, heres to arrows and aim and to all the effort and understanding needed to take you where you're going. Happy thoughts, hey 🙂

  14. Beautifully written, lovely. Beautiful. And I hope the same for my year. To be brave. And to accomplish quite a bit on my personal to-do list.

    Let us know how it is going!

  15. I’m so excited for this! I can’t wait to see what you have in your quiver.

  16. *sound of me clapping for this

    still clapping. looking around seeing if anyone else is standing up.


  17. reading your work is like looking at photographs for me. very inspired.


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