As you may know, I declared 2016 a good year for the arts. Over a series of blog posts, I documented my journey participating in and enjoying the arts and sharing some of the insights I gained from it. (See my first post at http://www.lynnlovegreen.com/2016-a-good-year-for-the-arts/ for more information.)
The arts made my year more rewarding and thoughtful. Many times a book, movie, song, or visual artwork helped me understand something or someone in greater depth than I did before.
One recent example was the film Moonlight (http://moonlight-movie.com)—wow, what great writing, acting, directing, and production. It’s one of the best movies I have ever seen, and I’ve seen hundreds. As the website says, “At once a vital portrait of contemporary African American life and an intensely personal and poetic meditation on identity, family, friendship, and love, MOONLIGHT is a groundbreaking piece of cinema that reverberates with deep compassion and universal truths.” Walking beside that young boy and staying with him as he grew into the man he became showed me so much about that person and community, but also about human nature. Now I understand him, and people like him, better than I did. (I am trying not to be too specific and create a spoiler here, but please go see the movie and you’ll know what I am trying to say!)
When I started this project at the beginning of 2016, I had the feeling we all needed an extra dose of understanding for each other. The year proved that, in ways I won’t go into here. But suffice to say, we still need to understand each other, and to reach out to our neighbors near and far. We need to choose love over fear and remind ourselves of our compassionate values. I encourage each of you to find a way to do that in 2017. And, of course, please continue to pay for and donate to the arts and tell your elected officials to support the arts in the public schools and in your own community.
This is what I plan to do, so far:
I will continue to use the arts as a viewpoint into understanding people here and around the world.
I will write my nonfiction to share my ideas about all of this, and my young adult fiction to show what some people experienced in Alaska during different points in our history, to enlighten readers about those times and how parts are universal or share things with our current time.
I will also volunteer in ways that help me reach out to people; for example, I am going to lead a teen book club at a nearby public library.
Now it’s your turn. What will you do in 2017? And what would you like to see from me over the next year? Please comment on this post to share your ideas, and let me know if you’d like me to do a similar series on my blog in 2017. (If you’d like to share with me privately, please write me at lynnlovegreen(at)gmail.com.)