One Little Word 2023

WOW – we are already 3 weeks into 2023, and I feel like I have barely had time to sit and reflect on last year, let alone plan for a new one. Usually, I have chosen my One Little Word (OLW) in December, however, it wasn’t until I watched the finding your word video that I found my word for this year. A couple of the tutors mentioned how they needed words that were not as specific – but more of a word that could be used as a background word to what you are working on. This got me thinking, how I continue to put pressure on myself to do more, be better, achieve goals I set for myself. I knew I wanted a word that didn’t tell me to change or improve myself, and while those desires will not magically disappear, I chose the word SPACE, so that I can have this word as a reminder that to achieve the many things I want to do with my time, first I need space to do it in.


I love a word that has many different connotations and when I am choosing my word each year, one of the first things I do, is to check the definitions. I prefer a word that is both a noun and a verb, and that has multiple meanings. When I checked out SPACE, I found multiple meanings, but the ones that stood out for me:


  1. A continuous area or expanse which is free, available, or unoccupied.
  2. An interval of time (often used to suggest that time is short considering what was achieved in it)
  3. the portion of text or document available or needed to write about a subject
  4. the freedom to live, think, and develop in a way that suits one

Verb: space; 3rd person present: spaces; past tense: spaced; past participle: spaced; gerund or present participle: spacing

Of course, space also has the defintion related to the universe, and the physical universe, the planets and stars.

But the definitons I was attracted to reflected the meanings related to being in ‘open spaces‘, finding ‘personal space‘, how space relates to writing and language, and that space is a ‘period of time’ where you can achieve something.

Also, sitting in the back of my mind was how Liz Lamoreux (one of the talented hosts for OLW) always talks about the AND SPACE. You can read about Liz and the & Space on her website. For the past few years I have looked longingly at some of Liz’s courses, especially the Tell it series, and I am sure at least one or two of these will combine to form part of my actitivies that I do for OLW this year. Exciting!

But wait there is more.

I can’t recall where or when I first read about ‘liminal space’, but the concept has fascinated me for sometime with both how it relates to my life and architectural spaces. I am no professional photographer, but tunnels, bridges and arches and doorways are structures I often photograph or stare at. I never understood why, until I happened upon the idea of liminal space. Here are some thoughts about what we mean by Liminal space.

Liminal space refers to the place a person is in during a transitional period.

It’s a gap, and can be physical (like a doorway), emotional (like a divorce) or metaphorical (like a decision).

Liminal space is a place of transition, a threshold between two points, signaling the end of one time or space, and the beginning of another …

Liminal is from the Latin word ‘limen’, which means threshold. A liminal space is the time between ‘what was’ and ‘next.

The limen is defined as the transitional threshold between two fixed states in cultural rites of passage or between two dissimilar spaces in architecture. http://Liminal Space in Architecture: Threshold and Transition › utk_gradthes

While searching for ideas on liminal space I came upon this article which fascinated me, especially with regards to space and empty spaces during the past couple of covid years.

Liminal space in a physical sense in architecture relates to areas like corridors and waiting rooms, empty art galleries, archways, empty parking lots, abandoned buildings, airports, porches, stairwells, bridges etc.

Until I found this concept I never understood why empty spaces fascinated me enough to snap a picture of something surreal or without any context. But now I understand that I was merely capturing a moment where I was caught in a liminal space.

Here are some photos that randomly represent some of the ways I view liminal space:

So, there it is. My word found me and now I just have to work out how I will document it. This year, I have rejoined Wanderlust with the intention of doing at least half of the prompts, and currently I am thinking of trying to combine my creative endeavours in one space – but in a month by month version. I enjoyed working in my seasonal journal in 2021/22, and want to find a way to build on that idea, of having just one place where I write, memory keep and play creatively. It’s not easy, and it might not work, but I have started on making a junk journal to house my projects, so fingers crossed it will work.

I have completed my intentions page and am making my way through the other prompts.

My word has already shown up for me big time this year, as we have put our home on the market, and one of the big jobs we have been doing is a major declutter to create space. The house is looking a lot clearer, but I will make an effort to create a separate post on that soon.

Happy 2023.


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