I wasn’t planning to choose a word for 2013. Nor am I one for new year’s resolutions. But, I awoke this morning to find that a word has chosen me. Illumination.
Before I started to look into the etymology of illumination I was already pretty excited about it. It means to bring light to a dark place or to brighten the mind with knowledge. Illumination can come to us from another source or it can shine from us onto others. It may be deep within the darkness that we see the light or in our darkest hour that the light comes to us.
“One thing that comes out in myths is that at the bottom of the abyss comes the voice of salvation.
The black moment is the moment when the real message of transformation is going to come.
At the darkest moment comes the light.”
-— Joseph Campbell, Irish-American mythologist
“We are each gifted in a unique and important way.
It is our privilege and our adventure to discover our own special light.”
— Evelyn Mary Dunbar, British artist
illumination (n.) late 14c., “spiritual enlightenment,” from L. illuminationem (nom. illuminatio), from pp. stem of illuminare “to throw into light, make bright, light up;” (see light (n.)).
- light (n.) “brightness, radiant energy,” Old English leht, earlier leoht “light, daylight; luminous, beautiful.”
- Light also means to “touch down,” from Old English lihtan “to alight; alleviate, leave.” I drew this on my studio blackboard back in August:
- Something that’s a joy and a delight has been the light of (someone’s) eyes since Old English: Ðu eart dohtor min, minra eagna leoht [Juliana].
- I love that illumination is my word. It feels that all I need to do is wait to be set alight. Now that we are on the other side of the Winter Solstice, the light is indeed coming.
- Source: Online Etymological Dictionary.