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welcoming 2023 as a series of experiments

I love symbolism and metaphor, I think because they bring something new to the things with which I'm most familiar. They prescribe new or different meanings, and help me experience them all more deeply. And I realize I'm someone who wants- needs- things to mean something, so symbolism and I are dear friends.

The most inspiring time of year for me is the metaphorical switch from one year to another. I feel as though I'm taking the deepest, cleansing and rejuvenating breath. I feel like the next thing I do can be epic or simple or brave or comfortable or something entirely new, and all of that is okay.

The feeling is so strong and verdant and alive, that it's as if Sleeping at Last's poetically instrumental piece, Taste (particularly 01:55), is swirling all around me, lifting me up higher and higher until I can reach my way to a new view where refreshed perspective lives and possibility exists and things that held me down or back fall away.

This may sound silly (and that's okay, too, if it does), but it isn't silly for me. It's life-giving and hope-growing, and it makes me care more and feel more and try more.

I've learned that I need symbolism. I need to feel connected to things in ways that can hold all the nuanced layers and still mean or teach me something pinpointable. That can weave strands through things that might not immediately belong together, but do in me. That can tether me to something beyond what simply is, and help me hold on to that meaning in a more tangible way.

The idea of a new year ushering in a sense of renewal is something that makes a significant impact on me each year. Not always in a concrete sort of way with resolutions or goals, but in an opening of space to shift directions, say goodbye, say hello, and listening.

Reading through Issue No. 3 of Slant'd, the words of editors Krystie Yen and Katerina Jeng resonated deeply with me:

"... the lesson is about shifting our approach to life from a series of objectives to a series of experiments."

This is something I know I haven't fully learned yet. Being goal-oriented and driven to achieve as a way of proving myself is deeply engrained and rooted in a lot more things than personality alone. But, instead of letting what I know about myself become even more set in stone, I want to be moving in the direction of gentleness and away from being ruled by the expectations I've learned to listen to and echo.

I want to learn how to revel in the experimentation and not only the end result. To find the trials and errors and delights and neverminds and surprises just as valuable as the final destination.

Happy New Year, friends. Let's go gently together into 2023.

♡ Kimberly Kuniko

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Welcome to the personal blog of of Kimberly Kuniko, a Nikkei American illustrator, collage artist, poet, and host of cozy, virtual guided creative retreats with a new theme each month.

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