Gritty Details

Friday, December 30, 2016

Tonight's Poet Corner: Introspection

Wow. This has been...this has been one Hell of a year, people. Jesus Christ.

There was a lot of...bad that happened this year. And not just the celebrity deaths and the tragic and atrocious murders in places like Aleppo and Orlando. There's a lingering bad. A change is happening in the world order, and it is not pretty. We have a populist proto-fascist president-elect who seems to get a hard-on every time Vladimir Putin speaks (hey, I'm typing this now in case it's illegal later). Fake news is rampant. Authoritarianism is on the rise. Holy shit.

But! A lot of good happened this year, too. Poverty has decreased worldwide. Endangered animals are returning. The Ebola vaccine is almost always effective, and cancer treatments are being tested. The Chicago Cubs won the World Series after a 108-year dry spell! Leonardo DiCaprio got his first Oscar! More than ever, we are seeing diversity in cinema, art, science, and academia, which is desperately needed. Yes, a lot of bad is happening, and a lot worse might be coming. But good has happened, and I will be fighting to ensure that it keeps happening.

And in my little bubble, a lot of wonderful things occurred. I got my single subject teaching credential in English. I moved to full time at my job and get health benefits now. I got married. Yep, I tied the knot with my wife, and we've been married for two months now and together for over five and a half years. And hey - I'm still writing. Yes, the election screwed up my chance to do NaNoWriMo, but I have managed to continue writing poetry and fiction. Not only that, but as I stated in previous entries, I'm working with a good friend to form a spoken word/musical duo where he creates the beats and I write the words. We had a band name all set to go, but sadly, it's taken. If you happen to think of any band names that would fit a tone of "Fuck fascism, rebel like Leia, tongue-in-cheek freedom of speech snark," feel free to suggest something in the comments!

See, the point is, there was a lot of death and destruction this year. But for me, there was a lot of creation happening. A lot of building and putting things together. Sometimes literally. Over the past month or so, my wife and I have been adding new furniture to our apartment. We used money we got as a wedding gift to buy bookshelves, new kitchen islands and counter space, and night stands - and we've been assembling them together. Seeing our living space flourish and feel more like us (if that makes sense) is really invigorating. And we continue to build who we are and what we stand for in other ways. Arden creates art; I write. We both make music. Like Arden said last introspection, before Christmas, we have enjoyed our small victories. We'll continue to be victorious; no one can stop us.

So for 2017, I send out a hope for building - for constructing, for healing, for binding, for bringing people together. Building communities, building ideas, building determination, building for a creative battle. I want us to create like we've never created before. No, I'm not happy to be an artist in a society that threatens to be anything but free; that doesn't help my creativity at all. But I will continue to create and express myself despite whatever obstacles are thrown at me. They cannot take that away.

2017 is a time for bated breath. It is a time for anger and reevaluation. It is also a time for action. Let's make sure that the good outweighs the bad this year. We are the revolutionaries now. We are the ones who will show up as historical figures in future textbooks. We need to show up for the right reasons, and on the right side of history.

Have a great night and a great weekend, everyone. And Happy New Year.

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