Wishing everyone a survivable and maybe even prolific New Year. It's been a rough ending to 2016. We are a traumatized nation and there is no end in sight. Many people (including myself), are waking up during the night and remembering that the President-elect is Donald Trump, and cannot get back to sleep after that thought lights up the cortex with fear and dread; it's like a nightmare that is real and won't go away. I know I am preaching to the choir here, but I had to get this off my chest at the start of this New Year blog entry, because there is nothing that is more at the forefront of my mind (and everyone's), than this.
So how can one continue on? Not that there is any choice but to do so. In recent years I have taken on art, meaning creativity, as my religion. What do I mean by religion? I mean something to believe in, something worth continuing to do, a drive within that when externalized, is in itself a meaningful existence. Allowing this drive and it's manifestation (creative work) to flourish, even if for no concrete or specific reason, seems imperative, especially in these terrible times.
So how will we keep our "attitude" up and not sink down into immobility and despondency? How will we keep going?
The weight of these times and the inevitable suffering that is about to unfold, especially among the most vulnerable of the population, make it seem wrong to even try to enjoy life, have fun, get excited about ideas and things. It's hard. And yet, more than ever we need to make the time and effort to focus on the things in life that bring joy, sometimes the smallest insignificant details like the existence of gooseberries, or trolls, or a good tuna sandwich with sweet pickles. Most of the things (and people) we love and delight in are still around us and we should take notice of them now, more than ever. Another heartening thought is that creativity remains alive and well and ideas still abound.
Last night while waiting at a bar for a friend, I had a sudden flood of ideas for a new technique for making plates.
These moments of receiving thoughts, ideas, inspirations, realizations, making connections, discoveries - are not only exciting, but they are supremely reassuring. The imagination can't be co-opted, the pipeline that delivers these divine sparks to us, unbidden, and sometimes completely unexpectedly, is astonishingly un-effected by the current wertschmerz and remains somehow protected, precious, bold and strong; resilient and even oblivious in the face of everything that is going on in the world.
And to me that is one miracle to celebrate more than ever in this New Year.