It’s 2012, and the Internet is ablaze with Armageddon-preparedness. There are guides for how to build underground bunkers and forums where people can discuss how to kill their pets when the world starts exploding. Yes, on the off chance that you missed it, this is the last year of the world, according to the ancient Mayan calendar.
Whether or not you believe in any of that, we’re undeniably living in crazy times. We’re experiencing dramatic shifts in the climate, rising sea levels, and strange occurrences like flocks of birds falling inexplicably from the sky. And thanks to technology, we’re awash in bad news all the time.
And yet, despite all that, there are reasons to be hopeful. Over the last week, as the New Year approached, we received a beautiful crop of stories devoted to the change of digits, and the life-affirming traditions that come along with it: looking back, letting go, finding hope, making resolutions, and finally, counting down to midnight and starting all over again.
On New Year’s day, a young woman in India cut off all her hair, a man in Iceland took his son into a deserted fjord, a woman in Brooklyn spotted three human girls dressed like raccoons, and a man in Arkansas remembered a road trip he took with his cat.
One of our favorite stories was about a powerful new beginning that happened to coincide with the change of the year, and we noted that not just one, but two new stories featured tunnels, a classic symbol of birth — and rebirth.
As 2012 begins, here at Cowbird we’re feeling a lot of the same hope, excitement, and trepidation that our storytellers feel. Cowbird is very young and new, and we’re trying to make good choices as we grow. We don’t know exactly where this will go or what it will be, but that’s what makes it fun. We decide what our story will be, and we lean into the future, together.
Happy New Year!