Looking through the media, I am not overly optimistic for this year. It is hard to smile when you consider how 2022 is shaping up, but there are some treasures that made me feel just a little bit better, move some, and breathe easier. Yes, I know it's a short list - just four finds that made 2022 seem less horrible for me so far. I like to think there is more I have not discovered yet. Let’s be optimistic, and keep that glass half full.
1. Will Jay (Musician)
From his website, “Will Jay is a pop artist on the rise. Best described as pop with a sense of humor, Will mixes uptempo, fun music with a unique perspective on young adulthood. Songs like “Gansta” and “Never Been in Love” challenge society’s expectations of living in the digital age. With his colorful and whimsical style, Will strives to redefine what it means to be a man in today’s crazy world.” Will Jay’s songs made me smile. They boosted my mood. His music and his perspective drew me into his creative world. They made me curious about his vision, and to want to cheer him on. I appreciate his talent and enthusiasm. What a great artist we have in Will Jay. I am looking forward to his future work.
2. Parcels (Music Band)
According to Wikipedia, “Parcels are an Australian electropop five-piece formed in Byron Bay, Australia, in 2014. Today they are based in Berlin, Germany. The band's line-up is composed of keyboardist Louie Swain, keyboardist/guitarist Patrick Hetherington, bassist Noah Hill, drummer Anatole "Toto" Serret, and guitarist Jules Crommelin.”
This band’s Youtube channel had shown up in my feed months ago and has been a constant sound I crave. I appreciate the group’s dedication to and seriousness about their work. This is apparent in their quest to find the perfect sound at every performance. With Parcels playing, I don’t want to - no, cannot - sit still. You just want to dance.
An excerpt from the book: “Mutual aid is a collective coordination to meet each other's needs, usually from an awareness that the systems we have in place are not going to meet them.”
Succinctly described by Hannah May-Powers of the Tulane Hullaboo on Amazon.com’s website, “[Mutual Aid] provides a useful framework of the meaning of mutual aid while explaining how it is an essential component to social transformation and solidarity movements.” This book filled me with hope. I highlighted many of the pages because of their useful points. Because of the book, I thought back to many situations in my life when advice like this could have come in handy. Then, I remembered just how important it was for now.
I had nothing in common with the author’s story, but I had everything in common with it as well. To me, The Last One is a poem about the author’s human experience. I appreciated its humanity. I could relate with the imagery and the experiences though they were different from my own. The beauty of this piece struck me and stuck with me. The repetitive and fluid nature of the word choice seemed to echo in my head after I had finished reading.
This book has won multiple awards in different countries. It also made a personal difference for me and for that, I am grateful.
Though many people have different preferences, I wanted to share these artists’ works in hopes that you might also enjoy them. I did find this music and these books to be uplifting and largely positive at a time when many things are not so. They seemed like treasures to me.
Lead Picture by Pezibear