We can all agree that 2016 was a rough year. Between the election, a ton of celebrity deaths, and disasters happening world-wide, it was an incredibly awful year for so many. Throughout the year, though, I found myself coming back to the idea of art as solace.
In 2016. more than any other year recently, I found myself wanting to be more artistic. I wanted to find more new music than ever before. I wanted to try my hand at crafting. I wanted to see more movies and read more books.
On reflection of the year, I wondered why. Why was I so drawn to art in 2016?
I remember the week of the election specifically when thinking on this topic. I was taking a sociology class on gender when Donald Trump won the election, and the sadness and silence that permeated our classroom the morning after the election results was palpable. Earlier in the same week, one of my friends and co-workers had died in a car accident. Many of the people in my class knew and had lost her as well. It was one of the hardest weeks of 2016, and getting through it took a lot of hugs and a lot of tears.
As I mourned my friend and worried about the election, my anxiety became the worse it had been in months. It was then, though, that I began to rely most heavily on art.
I turned to books, burying myself in hours of reading and writing. In these worlds, I found faith and hope. I remembered that dark times are only dark for a little while, not forever.
I listened to music on my own and with friends, appreciating the upbeat songs that could still create a semblance of normalcy and bliss in the midst of such hard times.
There were times that week when my mental health was at the lowest point in months, but there were also times that week when I felt the most at peace. If 2016 was tough, I would be tougher. If people were treating others horribly, I would treat others well. If the world was falling apart, I would try in the smallest of ways to hold my small piece of it together.
I continued on, as you have to do, but because of art, I continued on, determined that there was more to this world that the horrible things that happen in it. There are good things, and art, above all else, is a reminder of this.
Until next time,
Your Pemberley Reader