2014: Unravelling Resolution


On this turning into 2014, a space opens before starting the tasks of the day. I gave up setting resolutions years ago, as a fluid, ongoing relationship with change is so much more organic. Our standard meaning of resolute as determined, decided, absolute or final comes from a shift in meaning circa 1500, whereas previous understanding came from the Latin resolutus, meaning to untie, unfasten, loose, loosen. Resolution was hence understood as a ‘breaking into parts’ from Old French resolution or directly from the Latin resolutionem; a process of reducing things into simpler forms. 

A similar shift in meaning has occurred in the word resolve, which in the modern sense is used to describe a finality, of ‘working things out’ once and for all. An earlier meaning (recorded in the late 14th century) refer to melting, dissolving and reducing to liquid. Resolve’s predecessor, The Old French resolver, come directly from Latin resolvere; to loosen, loose, unyoke, undo; explain; relax; set free; make void or dispel.

So perhaps the making of resolutions is really an un-doing, a relaxing and acceptance. An un-making as we make the future.

Happy New Year,

Emily x

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