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Year 2021
by Kevin Mercurio

This post is a dedication to the very inspirational Simon Community Christmas Busk Event that took place on December 24th. To watch the incredible performances, see their recap on Youtube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_fviy0rfGBg&t.

 

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I am the Aristocracy, the force with which societies are threatened by

That move perpendicular to fault lines in our communities

I am the answer to the catastrophes raining fire on a future time

Their echoes cry in turmoil for salvation from the crises

But these are only ominous echoes — echoes of those days from our humble pasts

Pasts that seem so distantly beautiful — beautiful because of their intentions

Maturing into these poisonous thorns — thorns of still beautiful wilting flowers

Flowers just waiting to be tended by

How can I protect you in this crazy world?

One not overflowing with those echoes — echoes of those days from our humble pasts

Breathing in melancholy every day in exchange for drive and motivation

To parse out energy fuelling real change

We have the capability to be something better than our previous selves

Even to improve something minuscule; beliefs in disproven realities

Reject irreverence and ignorance, but do not be fully misunderstood

As each echoes their ethics and limits

I am not the entity said before; I am something more, something far greater

I am found within parents and children, leaders and starters, lovers and haters

I am an example of an eternal principle glinting slow and fainter

I am echoes of old, now and later

This word is just theatre.

 

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Afterword

 

It’s so important that in order to inspire creativity, that you must surround yourself with creative work, even if the work is not delivered in the same medium. Although I suppose writing will always be connected to creativity as I would say even paintings are sometimes outlined and planned out in text form.

 

I write the the afterword for this blog post in dedication to the Simon Community Busk that occurred on December 24th of this year. In it, musicians and singers performed a cover to Aslan’s Crazy World, one of the most beautiful songs I’ve come across in recent memory. I completely acknowledge that this song debuted all the way back in 1994 as part of the band’s album Goodbye Charlie Moonhead, and thus I blame my ignorance of this song due to the fact that I was born only a year earlier. The repetitive but emphasized songwriting, the bright guitar chords (along with the catchy strum at the end of the chorus), and that simple question of protection… Hell, I’ve been listening to this song on infinite repeat while writing this. It’s poetic, it’s cathartic, it’s charmingly soothing.

 

I reflect on this past year, as many of us have been forced to already, with actual hope. Sure, I’ve seen some ruthless acts of 

stupidity, but I am more surprised at how much more acts of unwavering kindness I observed. It is the latter that has made me hopeful for a future after this pandemic. We, as a global community of people with shared interests, are capable of being better than we were years, months, even days ago. Our ability to change and become more empathetic, collaborative, considerate and optimistic is engrained somewhere within us. Call it the genome, the brain, the heart, the soul, whatever you want to believe in, this blueprint to be good is there despite natural evolutionary processes that attempt to combat this way of thinking.

 

In this spoken word called Echoes, I try and come up with a plan written in storyteller fashion. There are five verses, each could be labelled as the following: 1) Exposition, 2) Problem, 3) Desire, 4) Solution and 5) Conclusion. You, the reader, are introduced to the narrator who is the powerful entity that has weaved itself into our society. The problem we face collectively is then mentioned, elaborating on the topic of echoes. What is an echo? It’s a reflection of sound back at the point of origin. If this year has taught me anything, it is that we must do something about our echoes, or in this case, desires for a better world, a more protected world. This want is discussed next as a sort of exchange process, converting dismay into not the opposite, but as literal fuel to produce a sense of drive for “real change” (the true opposite). The solution, more easily said than done by the omnipotent narrator, is to secure gradual change in ourselves while disregarding logical forces that prevent these changes. The spoken word concludes with the narrator admitting the prefaced lie in the exposition in their identity, and that despite our search for the answer to the world’s problems (ie. the narrator), it is individual actions which start collective moments that change the course of history. The narrator is just text, just echoes of answers we already know, that we just need to implement.

 

The year 2021 was filled with drastic changes from everyone, myself included of course. Moving to a new country and starting a PhD during a pandemic could have easily been a stupid decision. So much uncertainty at the time. And yourselves, in professional careers or not, in school or not, constantly at home or walking around outdoors, all our routines we were so used to, have drastically changed. We are inundated with societal problems almost every second of the day. We can, we must, we will do something about these issues. Whether that be driving real actions at the top, or even just talking about them more. Free discussion and the willingness to listen/learn are key to any difficult problem. This will be done, but it will take individuals to change themselves little by little.

 

I look back at my previous blog post of 2020 and am so appreciative that I learned to deal with the anger within myself. This was mainly fuelled by my forgotten ability to rationalize why I feel negative emotions. I believe I have taken the necessary steps to build on developed skills of deep breathing and remaining calm. If we can, focus on supporting ourselves, and thus we can harness the capability to support others. Otherwise, this is just theatre.

 

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As I do every year, I would like to share with you now the blooper reel of 2021. To the small moments, to the big moments, and to the fantastic people I know and love, here’s to a year of gradual self-improvement!