how to change the world

Me and Veronica watched the movie “The School of Rock” together, and the failed rock start turned substitute teacher told the struggling kids:

One great rock concert can change the world.

Of course, in the world of the movie it came true. And I was crying. YES.

Rock changes the world
Art changes the world

Music is very immersive, and different from books. And they are all the same stuff.

In British and American lit classes, they would talk about what paintings and music were happening at the same time as the books we were discussing, because they influence each other.

Art in all its forms reaches to put forth ideas that haven’t been in the world yet. So it can be messy and confusing, or it can more true and clean than everything.

It has to be experienced in the way the artist created it. Art can change the world. It changes my world every day

The world needs changing right now. There is so much fragmentation and fear.

The quarantine has asked us to be separate from one another and so the shared experience of art is not happening. We are apart and are having trouble finding our way back.

I want a way for us to be together. I know art can do this.

In the movie it took time to get the concert ready. It took working together and practice. It attention to detail and a lot of work.

Art that transforms should be as carefully crafted as it can be. I am looking for that to come.

It’s sad and separate and lonely right now in the world. It seems especially separate and angry in America.

I know that change can come A great rock concert can change the world.

Great art can bring us together. This is what I hope for. This is what I am working for. My small bit of hope can build. I invite you to believe that things will change and to do what you can to transform the world.

We can do this. Change can come.

Repetition

“Though much is taken, much abides; and though
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”
-Alfred Lord Tennyson

I’m not much into TV shows, but I am getting desperate here at home. Flicking through Amazon Prime choices, the audio starts in on Sylvie’s Love:

“Life is too short to do anything but what you absolutely love.”

Sure, Sylvie. I’ve heard that before. This is not the right time for that particular motto.

I’m still home. Still doing things I don’t *absolutely love. * You and all the touring inspirational speakers can go out to lunch and pump each other up about that one.

I’ve got a list of things I have done that I absolutely love. What I did to get those things, or to get them done, was a lot of stuff I didn’t even like.

What it took was a lot of tedious repetition. That’s what life is made of.

More importantly, that is what great things are made of. There is a famous scene with Rocky running up the steps in Philadelphia—the scene with the swelling music.

The fictional Rocky ran those steps every day. In a boring do-i-have-to kind of way. That’s how the greatness happens. I hope that in his mind, he had the swelling music, but I know there were plenty time when I have done something tedious and necessary that I did not want to do that there was no swelling hero music.

There was more of a caterwaul of self-pity and whining. And I would give in to it sometimes. But if I stacked up enough instances—enough repetitions—of doing it anyway I could get to the finish line.

I did the thing. It got done. It felt really good.

It still feels good. And there are the times when I feel so small and the world so big. Those times when I wonder what use I am to anybody and whether I am worth the oxygen I take up. Then I have a little pile of stuff I did that I’m proud of. I take one off the pile and wrap it around myself to remember I did something once, brought a bright thing of value into the world.

And that caterwaul is quieter. I find a scrap of will to do it again:

“Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”

More than anything, I am encouraged by the feeling of satisfaction when I do the small hard things along the way. Right now, with a nasty virus making the world week, I need whatever satisfaction I can get.

2021 books I read

  1. divergent
  2. Nothing to see here
  3. Mom & Me & Mom
  4. As You Like it
  5. Remember Me
  6. If women rose rooted
  7. dance of cloaks
  8. Big sort
  9. Reflections by Rosa parks
  10. The Forgotten Daughter NF
  11. Contagious Leadership NF
  12. There is no cloud
  13. John Dies at the end
  14. burro genius
  15. The Outsiders
  16. wolf hall
  17. the unbearable lightness of being
  18. 2020 Democratic Party platform
  19. the narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket
  20. untamed
  21. john woman
  22. before the coffee gets cold
  23. have spacesuit will travel
  24. anything is possible
  25. 7 dirty words the life and crimes of George carlin
  26. #ask Gary V
  27. Uncle Tom’s cabin
  28. the henna artist
  29. dignity
  30. shay with me
  31. never split the difference : negotiating as if your life depends upon it
  32. creating a culture of tenderness
  33. When
  34. Tatoos on the heart
  35. Censorship Now!
  36. Autobiography of Malcolm X NF
  37. pedagogy of the opperessed
  38. emotional wisdom
  39. long walk to freedom
  40. journey to The west
  41. The Jetsetters
  42. why time flies
  43. leaves of grass
  44. emerson essays
  45. alcoholics anonymous NF
  46. rules of Prey
  47. Olive Kitteridge
  48. a court of thorns and roses
  49. do over
  50. drive
  51. too soon old too late smart
  52. Leviathan
  53. indistractable
  54. Why My third husband will be a dog
  55. Insurgent
  56. remnant population
  57. nine nasty words
  58. dandelion wine
  59. Project management for AV professionals
  60. Hero with a thousand faces
  61. shadow prey
  62. existential kink
  63. the red badge of courage
  64. unmasked
  65. huckleberry finn
  66. Circe
  67. The emotion code
  68. linchpin
  69. The fighters mind
  70. the hunting wives
  71. get a life chloe brown
  72. Six armies in normandy
  73. the art of asking
  74. Scrum Book of Knowledge
  75. art & Fear
  76. Death of the Artist
  77. The girl with the dragon Tatoo
  78. flow
  79. Forty autumns
  80. war of art
  81. how the west was won
  82. focus
  83. The phantom of the opera
  84. No More Mr. Nice guy
  85. I am a cat
  86. the giver
  87. gathering blue
  88. messenger
  89. Son
  90. Stranger in a strange land
  91. catch 22
  92. awakening
  93. it ends with us
  94. communist manifesto
  95. tarot: unlocking the arcana
  96. infinity blade redemption
  97. as you like it
  98. the art of political war
  99. its not me it’s you
  100. book of three
  101. steal like an artist
  102. show your work
  103. keep going
  104. Gravity’s Rainbow NF
  105. woke inc
  106. the black cauldron
  107. Who’s that girl?
  108. 10x