Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New Look for A New Year!

Happy new year, readers!! It is Armageddon Year, if the whispers I hear all about are true. If so, how exciting! If not . . . still exciting! So far, I've lived through several historical moments - 9/11, the election of President Obama (who I am currently mad at, but that's for another conversation), and now the end of the Mayan calendar. And, perhaps, the end of the very world as we know it.

But, honestly? The world as we know it really does need to end. So many things are so very, very wrong. And sometimes I wonder if the only way to address them is to wipe the slate clean and start all over. I don't mean Hollywood-disaster type annihilation. I mean a massive spiritual cleanse. Maybe we need to go on a global liver cleanse. You know - just get all that toxicity and guck out of our system and then start living right.

I am a believer in working within a structure and helping shape it into something new. Like your body - you have to work with what you've got. You can't just walk away and get a new one. I've done a lot of cut-and-running in my life and, to tell you the godz-honest truth, I always found myself exactly where I left off. I learned somewhere along the line that, eventually, you have to stop, roll up your sleeves, get elbow-deep in crap, and clean house. There's no avoiding it. You always end up right back where you started. With new insights, maybe, and new hair . . . some grays, a few more lines around the eyes . . . but always back. Because that's your journey. It's your task while you're here - you hammer away at your specific work, diligently, trying to make things right and make things fit the way they're supposed to. Sometimes you get tired and wander away for a bit - take a break. But then you come back and the work is exactly the way you left it, waiting. And you have to pick up that hammer again and start shaping your imperfect self into the perfect building block you know you can be.

But I digress! This post is about newness and new things!! Like this blog! How do you like the new look? The new title is a nod to Jeanette Winterson's book, Art Objects, a collection of essays that I loved - and taught every chance I got, and will teach again. I wanted something that spoke more to the person I have become in the years since I began blogging, began this writing/publishing journey. I wanted to incorporate some of the new things I've learned and the insights I've picked up along the way. I thought a lot about Winterson's book, and how it helped shape my thoughts around art and dissent and effecting change in the world, and I decided on Writing Objects.

Because it should. Writing, and all art, should object. It should rebel and revolt and buck and grow teeth and claws. It should gnash and growl and tear the jugular out of stagnation, out of complacency and status quo. It should shriek through the night in the name of love, justice, and the eternal life force.

I read a quote recently that I am about to mangle here, but it went something like this: Art says, "If we all agree, then I am not needed." That rang really true - art should not be about enforcing the dominant narrative. That is propaganda - public relations by the powers that be. Art wants to challenge, make us squirm, show us Possibility. It wants to ignite. That is something new . . . creation. It is the life force, and it is very, very powerful.

One of my favourite quotes from Winterson's book is, "Better to pretend that art is dumb, or at least has nothing to say that makes sense to us. If art, all art, is concerned with truth, then a society in denial will not find much in use for it."

So let us move forward in this final year of the calendar of the Mayans, those wise and eternal souls, and object. Let us continue in our quests and step sure-footedly, and with purpose, on our paths - and create. Create, create, create.

HAPPY 2012!!!

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