I would like to welcome in 2017 with an extract from a poem written by Chinaka Hodge, an American poet, educator, playwright and screen writer:
‘In the same year, we were ready. The year we lost our inhibition and moved with courageous abandon was also the year we stared down barrels, sang of cranes in skies, ducked and parried, caught gold in hijab, collected death threats, knew ourselves as patriots, said, “We’re 35 now, time we settled down and found a running mate,” made road maps for infant joy, shamed nothing but fear, called ourselves fat and meant, of course, impeccable. This year, we were women, not brides or trinkets, not an off-brand gender, not a concession, but women.’ – Chianka Hodge (October 2016)
What she writes resonated beautifully with me as poetry often does and how the events of 2016 are shaping up to possibly be a new status quo for many people in the world. All the high-profile stories that got us talking – Brexit, the Syria Campaign, the US election, Donald Trump’s Inauguration, the rise of right-wing political parties throughout Europe and the exposure of the Panama Papers to name a few.
And of course the loss of so many talented artists who affected so many lives – the deaths of David Bowie, Prince, Leonard Cohen and George Michael – brilliant musicians whose music transcends and will forever be associated with all those moments in life; love, loss, grief, break-ups, heartaches, happiness, friendships, first moments…and mixed tapes of course!
I can’t recall another year like it and one that I can only compare to the moment Alice follows the White rabbit down the rabbit hole in Alice in Wonderland.
What lies ahead in 2017? I don’t know. So far Donald Trump’s Inauguration has certainly continued the conversation about the future of the USA and world politics, speculation on what the Obama’s will do as civilians, the Women’s March on Washington (#whyimarch) has extended beyond the borders of America to include Sydney, the tragedy of the earthquake in Italy and closer to home the horror of the Melbourne rampage, One Nation’s Peter Rogers claiming the photo of Aylan Kurdi is fake, the continued languishing of refugees in detention and other stories that have made news.
It would seem we aren’t off to a great start however Sydney Mum is excited about 2017. The team hopes humanity, by and large, will continue to show that innate character of being socially and collectively connected to each other. Grassroots incentives and communities will continue to make headway in bringing about changes big and small. Women will keep trying to make a conscious effort to show mutual support with every endeavour or role we choose to take on to slowly weed out the notion that success and self-preservation means destruction of our female counterparts.
In 2017 the team Sydney Mum will continue to bring our ‘A-game’ with posts about current issues and topics, collaborations with awesome women, podcasts, profiles and anything in between we feel merits sharing and sparking discussion.
I certainly don’t know what the future holds nor how future generations will look back at this period of history but in the meantime I will continue to live life and surround myself with good people and good things.
At a time when life is stressful, busy and uncertain I will look to my friends and become the primate I descend from because a chimp study has showen how hanging out with friends makes life less stressful just by being present in our lives and regulating the way our bodies manage stress-indicating hormones – LOVE THAT!