Not that much has changed really. Before we had the illusion of certainty and now we see the reality. Nothing is or ever was certain only the present moment. Not even two sentences in and I’m handing out the Buddhism. Yup. But let’s remember things can and do change all the time, our ability to control reality is limited sometimes if not non existent, all we really do have control over is ourselves and our reactions to what is unfolding.
What’s happening in the World around us is affecting everyone of us and it’s messing with our heads and Root chakra which connects us with stability, safety, security and belonging. Our ability to feel safe on the Earth. Jobs being cancelled last minute, performances we’d arranged to see, social meetings we were looking forward to. The uncertainty and anxiety it brings is making people ill, to where they don’t see the point in living anymore. If anyone reading this feels like that I pray you reach out, you are not alone in this. Our businesses are being affected, big time, the things we’ve spent years of our lives creating and building. It’s tough, psychologically. And it’s been ongoing for too long.
So what do we do? We have to commit to deep self care. We have to stay physically strong knowing that impacts our mental and emotional strength. Find ways to soothe that aren’t alcohol or drugs, reach out when we need to vent, cry or wallow. Yes wallow but don’t live there. There’s still much work to be done.
We have to seek truth and knowledge, connect with ourselves and be honest about what we feel is happening here. We need to find discernment, stay away from excessive media (mainstream and social), learn to listen to our intuition and act accordingly.
We must do what we can and find innovative ways to continue to tell stories safeguarding our work against future upheaval. We must learn to speak our truth.
It seems to me Theatre is becoming a place where we must be seen to be thinking and doing the right thing according to the group, agreeing upon the same things, never being controversial, asking necessary questions or commenting on social issues that go against the grain. Is this really what we want? A uniform reality where any deviation from the norm can threaten or impose us with social sanctions that cost us our work, our livelihood? Where we must agree with the majority or risk being condemned? What is Art for if not to challenge the status quo? What has Art become if to challenge the status quo earns us cancellation, rejection and ousting? How are we expanding our minds and souls when all we’re seeing around us are the same opinions, the same thoughts, the same ideas expressed that all exist within a narrow bandwidth of what is possible? How judgemental, critical and mob like are we becoming when those who express a different opinion from us are swiftly and deftly dealt with and removed from the realm of acceptable creativity? These are just questions but timely for our time I think.
Can we seek to understand each other? Can we notice when we’re pouring scorn on another because their viewpoint differs from ours? Can we start to probe and question where our beliefs come from in the first place? Are they really ours and do we really believe them? Can we start to have honest conversations? First with ourselves then each other? Can we make space for uncomfortable opinion that differs from our own? Can we find compassion and tolerance for each other, our fellow human, knowing that is what great Theatre and Art is always supposed to do? Enable us to find commonality even when it feels like we’re totally different – we find the Truth, that we aren’t, we’re the same. All Human.
So we’re enter 2022 with this in our hearts. To do what we can to continue telling stories, entertain, to laugh and cry, to inspire, create meaning and hope, to drive forward even in seeming chaos and increasing silliness. And to seek and speak truth as we understand, to platform stories that do the same, that we remain free and open to ask questions, so we can continue to evolve, never shutting down, becoming closed minded and labelling before we’ve sought to understand. This, seems to me, the only way forward.
Truth. Unity. Questions. Openness. Connection. Free expression. Love.
Thanks for reading our sombre Xmas message – now prosecco + high jinks!
Merry Christmas x