Up ahead, through the forest, behind the mist, and beyond the darkness… is the future.

It is very much in the province of optimism to believe that whatever comes along, it will come with opportunity. It’s as natural to rely on that certainty as it is to trust that when we draw breath there will be air to fill our lungs.

We count on opportunity, otherwise we would have no reason to live. And yet…

I love the word “yet”. It is utterly aromatic with possibility. It can turn a conversation in any number of directions.

The simple use of it twists the intent of a commonplace remark toward the dark abode of disappointment or the luminous realm of noble intent. There is no tedious middle ground with “yet”. It’s a conversation turner.

Literally taken, it can mean so far, despite, up to now, eventually, or in time. While it has been employed with negative connotations, my favorite use of the word “yet” represents an optimistic outlook:

“He wrecked his car, and yet he walked away without a scratch.” Or “Healing is a matter of time, yet it can also be a matter of opportunity.”

“Yet” is no mere literary device — it is the magical moment when steel meets flint and a single microscopic spark ignites a conflagration. It introduces a turn of fortune or lends a positive spin to any situation. There’s a promise of emotion built into it. Grammatically speaking, I can think of no single syllable brimming with more promise and more hope to fuel the drama of our imaginations, which are always inspired by challenge.

Were it not for our challenges, there would be no opportunity for us to overcome them. Exceptional innovations have sprouted from the nastiest of difficulties. To me the word “yet” will always represent opportunity — the door still unopened, the adventure not quite begun.

In its best usage it can be the sunny signpost on the path to everything hopeful.

The fine Russian novelist Boris Pasternak touched on the subject most eloquently — “When a great moment knocks on the door of your life, it is often no louder than the beating of your heart, yet it is very easy to miss it.”

Too many times have I reacted to that heartbeat of opportunity with trepidation. I try to remind myself that every uplifting consequence in my life blossomed from a decision to go for love instead of fear. Fear is the scoundrel here. Always will be. How much in my life have I missed out on simply because of the fear of missing out?

“Yet” is the briefest of adverbs. A very small word. There is real power, yearning, and magic it its grasp when utilized by a master raconteur or writer.

Without the shining optimism and promise of expectation this little word adds to my work, I think it would be an effortless thing to drift into despair.

And yet, …





10 thoughts on “Yet

  1. After reading your post, the word `yet’ is reborn to me.

    Thank you for sharing your unique perspective of a word `aromatic with possibility’ (Love that phrase!)

    And we’re at the end of this A to Z journey! Kudos! Hope to read more of your posts here 🙂

    • Thank you, A.J. Your kind regard inspires me as well. I have enjoyed meeting and reading many other bloggers throughout this process. It’s a fine, fine community of decent folk and I’m happy to be in their company.

      I’m grateful for the warmth of your welcome.

    • You’re most kind, Maria. Again, I thank you for your wonderful friendship and patronage. I’ve still so much to learn about blogging. I think I’ve developed a bit of a taste for it.
      God bless and cheers.

  2. As always an excellent post. Agree ‘yet’ is a magically word, you can change anything with a simple ‘yet’, much more positive than ‘if’ another powerful little word but so deadly with the ‘if only’. No yet is the king of little words.

    • Thank you for your incisive observations. By the same token, “but” has rather the opposite effect because it negates what the other person has just said. “That may be true, but….” I don’t care for “but”. However, we seem to agree on the magic of “yet”. Congratulations on winding up the A to Z Challenge. And cheers.

  3. I love it, Michael. Your writing and sentiments are the yin to my yang, and yet…we are very much on the same path for reaching love, acceptance, understanding, and all those other great nouns (Those are nouns, aren’t they? I had some subpar English teachers growing up.)

    Well, thanks for your words. I like to read them. They help keep me grounded when I go off rambling and cracking too many jokes. Yin and yang. Complementary forces working together, interacting to form a whole greater than either separate part – this according to Wikipedia. Cheers to you and thanks.

    • My dear Dimwit, I am flatter-gasted (figure that one out!) by your uncharacteristically genuine remarks. Either that or I’m too bloody stupid to catch when I’m being razzed. Either way, I choose to recognize that my sub-par teachers held degrees from the same mail order trade schools that your sub-par teachers did and, hence, you and I received a symbiotically screwed up education. But on different sides of the country.

      Yin and Yang. I’ll take that with a tip of the hat and a gentlemanly thank you. You’re funny as hell with a human heart to boot. I too thoroughly enjoy your welcome wit.

      Cheers and Boy-Howdy to you too!

      • Please, Michael. Call me Dimwit. Oh, wait. You did. 🙂

        No, I really meant it. Me being serious is kinda like what I imagine it’s like for an athlete to put on their “game face” for a game 7, going for the trophy. It does happen, it just takes a lot of effort. But I did mean it. I like reading your words, and find wisdom in them. Thanks for the compliment as well! And boy-howdy, I like that one. I may have to use that somewhere, and if I do, I’ll give ya some sort of credit. Cool, well have a good day fine sir.

        • I get that you were being serious, as was I, and it’s entirely cool. As Richard Pryor once said, “Amateurs borrow — professionals steal.” He was referring of course to comics who incorporate the material of other comics into their acts. So by all means, please feel free to steal the “Boy-Howdy” line. It’s yours.

          I’ve enjoyed your left-handed kind of humor. Your wit is a conundrum wrapped in an enigma, wrapped in bacon, topped with nacho cheese, wrapped in a crescent roll with extra BBQ sauce and served up on a naked sumo wrestler. Multi-layered, weird, and tasty as hell. Keep ’em coming, cowboy. Yee-Haa!!

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