What's Possible in Possibility?

Possibility. That's my one little word for 2012.

It's interesting to me how one word can wrap itself around you and take on a life of its own.

Impossible spells "I'm possible." (We love you, Audrey.)

Dwell in possibility.  (Thank you, Emily.)

LIVE with possibility.

One month ago I felt overwhelmed -- eaten up by -- possibility. The choices and chances in the coming months swirled around me, leaving me feeling lost in the fog -- of possibility.

Now I see it differently. I see the bliss and the blessing in all this possibility. I see adventure and opportunity. I see a life lived out loud. A life worth living.

I decided I needed to track down the root of this word that has become the framework of my year.

Possibility led me to possible, which led me further down the path to the Latin word posse, which means "be able." Following this still further I found that posse and potent both mean "power."

There is also the Latin verb possum (no, not opossum!), meaning "I am able," or "I can."

Follow the etymology around long enough and you'll find your way through the Latin potis (which leads to pote, meaning vessel -- how beautiful is that?) to the Sanskrit word  पतिor pátiwhich means "lord, master, rule, sovereign."

And what more is possibility, than to dwell in the brilliant truth that each day I get to choose what path to take. To dwell in "I can." To toss out the lists and the schedules and the must-have's and never-do's, and just get on with the business of living.

The words found in possibility are beautifully empowering. I found myself thinking of the words from Invictus by William Ernest Henley; the last stanza in particular:

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul. 

With all these delicious words wandering through my mind, I was reminded of Bob Raczka'a book Lemonade and Other Poems Squeezed From a Single Word. I looked up Andrew Russ, whose work Raczka was inspired by, and found even more words to ponder.

So I decided to give it a try with possibility. After much shifting around of letters and words, I realized it's much more difficult than I thought! But here it is, and here I am, dwelling in possibility:


  1. Wow, so much possibility in one word. I love all the things you did with this one word. It makes me want to choose one little word for myself next year.

    1. You could have "one little word for most of 2012" and start now! :)

  2. Those poems are hard to write - much harder than they look, I think. I'm amazed that yours not only was the topic of your overall post but that the message within it reflected statements you made in your post. Well done!

    1. Thanks! Here's the secret: after I wrote the poem I went back into the post and snuck in some words to help the poem make more sense! ;) Total ninja move. :D

  3. First, I love your One Little Word. These poems are hard to write. I liked how yours turned out!

    1. Thanks! My word last year was "bliss", so I love that I found the word bliss in possibility!