Starting to wrap up the year now, 2021, the true year of COVID - the gain-of-function man-made plague that decimated the heart and soul of humanity ...
It became clear in the spring of this past year, many were having far greater difficulty adjusting to 'the new normal' than their jolly social media accounts let on. At one point, a person-to-person phone call, or zoom or face-time chat provided the only convivial human interaction so many desperately needed. We all know that this form of communicating wasn't and isn't 'perfect'. Video calls lack the sheer physical warmth of another human being in our churning electrical presence. We do need, most now realize, genuine living-breathing interaction with another fellow human for our mental, physical and emotional good health. We are social creatures, not typists.
To augment this, I completed two projects this year to help facilitate and bolster human discourse across a broader spectrum. You can read one or listen to one. The short story collection, STICKS and STONES, is available as an ebook for now and will soon be released as a paperback, in January of 2022. The album, GROUP THINK, came out last fall. (Links below.) It is a compilation of musical threads that I've been developing since 2017. Both projects have been produced under the looong shadow of COVID. Both intend to meet it, address it, and offer solace. I hope both efforts do assist others to get thorough this very challenging and transformative period.
We, as a species, simply cannot go on as we have been doing. Mothership Earth just can't take it anymore, and neither, increasingly, and apparently, can we.
We have to re-align. We have to re-think our relationship to the planet - and to each other.
This re-imagining has been variously - and often viciously - called the 'Great Reset', 'The Great Awakening', the 'Singularity' or the 'New Beginning', etc. All conjectures swing wildly from horrific dystopias to blissful utopias - with little reasonable or livable 'middle ground' in-between. Too many are manifesting 'all-or-nothing' catastrophic thinking. We've all been hyper-stimulated by our plugged-in devices to become the ascending 'stars' of our own burgeoning media empires. Everyone is now a King or Queen at the epi-centre of their Fiefdoms ... (ok, dramatic flourish. Call it what you will. You know what I mean.) One thing for sure though, something far greater than the sum of our parts is taking hold of our sensitive psyches.
This transformation is filling many with fear and dread. It is also filling many with great hope and courage. People everywhere are increasingly aware that humanity IS - gosh, darn it - a global family. And, as such, we increasingly understand we all have responsibilities towards each other. Thus, it no longer makes sense to devastate an entire eco-system in one corner of the globe to prop-up consumption in another. It just isn't viable anymore. Paternalistic and exploitative colonialism, as we've long known it, is over.
However, as is evident, this generational transition will not be easy. When an old order falls away, a new order will take its place. For now, the problems decimating the current era are manifold. There is no 'easy fix'. Not one nationalistic elitist group has all the answers to the questions. Die-hard free-market libertarians or staunch communistic oligarchies under dictatorial rule do not have a pat single solution. In fact, the whole idea of 'nation states' is collapsing. In their place, tech giants, with market support from savvy global investors, are surpassing the GNP of many middle-sized countries. The techies are taking over accepted mainstream media, local political theatre and increasingly, even the basic mechanics of banking. It's a new and unprecedented phenomenon - and we are all witness to it.
What can - and should - make a sustainable difference moving forward is our very personal and individual capacity to empathize. We do need much more compassion at this moment than we need destruction. We need to rally and support each other, not isolate from each other behind cellphones, tablets and screens. We need to be better humans IN PERSON.
We can all do it. - Do it small. Do it daily. Do it neighbour to neighbour. Village to village. Town to town. City to City. Tribe to Tribe. Nation to Nation. We can all put our best and bravest foot forward.
|Sticks & Stones: Table of Contents|
Instead, we must strive to be forthright, sincere - and fair with each other. Above all - we must be kind. Mano o mano. oh, and humor helps. Use humor. Now. Get outside of your silo.
If you do have a moment after all that, perhaps you will consider my new short story collection - (it makes a Great Gift to PASS ON) - or my new album. I did do both of them for YOU - to help all of us get through.
1. GROUP THINK ALBUM - download here.
2. STICKS and STONES: 10 Canadian Short Stories
Season's Greetings: with a Merry Christmas to All!!!
Here's to a healthy & happier New Year - Keep in touch!
M. Lindsay Holton - Canadian Artist/Author
(p.s. And add this insightful hour-long film to your 'watch later' list ... then, Pass it on)
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