2020. The ominous new decade has finally arrived and I feel a wee bit compelled to write; alas, it's the only hobby that has sustained me for the last three decades and one of my most reliable survival tools. Words, and their formative power, are one of the few things I can count on.
When I was 15, half a lifetime ago and the same age as my current students, I didn't think I would reach this year. I knew that once 2020 rolled around I would be 30 and I could not quite grasp what that might entail. It was such a distant, unsubstantial, inconsequential number, because I held on to this notion that I would never have to face it. I would never have to deal with all of the strenuous shifts in my identity and my feeble grasp of reality. I would never have bona fide responsibility or ever have to face the complications of the aging process. Better yet, I would never have to know true failure or make choices that would dismantle, well, everything. I would be young forever and expire when my fragile heart was too weak to pump life through me. That's how I sensed it would go. That was the path I was ambling along. Little did I know that none of these mindless worries would matter and that the world was so much bigger than my narrow self-centred mindset lead me to believe. Growing up is not the worst thing that can happen to you, as our Mother Earth continues to remind us.
Watching people reflect on their last decade felt...inspiring, yet self-indulgent. Even now, I'm questioning the merits of this exercise and who it's for. Certainly for me and my own sanity, but who else? Why do we feel the desperate need to share and connect? Why are we comparing what we've achieved and overcome in ten years? Does it truly even matter when the world around us is burning up? Why are we so damn selfish and needy? Myself included. Let's just agree that no one has it easy. Life does not let up, ever. So let's reflect less on what we've dealt with, because we're all overcoming something. We need to strive to spend our time in more meaningful ways. We can do better.
2020. What will the next decade bring? I'm exhausted by the past, but equally horrified about the future, which puts me in these neat little present bubble of optimism punctured by darkness. I'm hopelessly floating upwards on an unpredictable path, determined to remain suspended a little while longer. I'm not ready to burst quite yet. None of us are.
My artistic output will be heading down the path of change, as it always does, and will continue to reflect the world as I see and understand it; in a state of turmoil and constant flux, laced with great expectations.