I love this time of year since its often the only extended break I have to reflect on my life, gather with people I love and appreciate the small, simple moments of grace from the year gone by. The lights we burn on Yalda, Solstice, Hanukkah, Christmas and Kwanzaa are all rooted in primal symbolism and full of references to the light of human goodness triumphing over fear and confusion.
That it happens now, just before a cold, dark winter, is a reminder that light and beauty are with us even when things look bleak.
What’s especially hopeful is that this year we’ve seen this metaphor embodied in action. People all over the world are wiping away the fog that has blurred their vision and that has sapped our energy. We are rededicating ourselves to making things right and working together. And this makes me most hopeful about where we are going in 2012!
Thank you everyone for your burning passion and fearlessness in all you do. I am honored to have such friends, supporters and colleagues. This coming year I plan to be back in Afghanistan doing bigger creative projects, and look for some collaborations with Iran and Pakistan as well!! I am working with artists and culture workers to lead trainings and skills sharing meetings on how art and culture can be used to forward social change and movement building. I may also find myself in India and, of course, I’ll be facilitating workshops at the Theater of the Oppressed Laboratory, in New York, whenever I can. Do drop me a line and let me know what you are up to.
One bright moment: I asked the theater group from Kunduz, Afghanistan why they work in theater and performance. The answer, “Because in the theater you can show something else, another way. You can make people feel.” A university student from Kabul said, “I just want to be free … really, really free.”
With love and light,