To start the flow of creative juices for this introductory piece to the Writers Victoria 2022 Program, I went back to the end of 2020 to see what words of wisdom I’d had for the beginning of 2021. Conclusively proving I haven’t a prescient bone in my body, I wrote of eased restrictions and falling numbers, re-entering and re-engaging with the world. It was a hopeful and optimistic piece that spoke of the many ways that the past can mark us and how we carry those marks on our bodies into the future. It also strongly delineated between the then and the now. At the risk of unbecoming candour, 2020 Kate had no idea that the sh!t was really about to hit the fan.
However, as I write this piece now I feel no schadenfreude or even exasperation. Today’s Kate feels quite soft and tender towards that Kate, the one who still has so many challenges ahead of her. And it is from this softness that ‘Glimmer’, our theme for 2022, emerged.
I don’t think many will be surprised that it was hard to land on a word to encapsulate all that we’ve been through in 2021 and all that we hope for in 2022. We’re tired and careworn, facing schisms that go beyond political ideology. We’ve seen the best of humanity, but we’ve also seen the worst, and it is the latter that is repeated on news sites and social media until it fills up our screens and our thoughts.
But the best is there. It’s never quite as big or splashy, never quite as newsworthy, but it glints and gleams through the cracks, finding the spaces and weaknesses and making itself known. Light, after all, doesn’t have to overwhelm the darkness to diminish it. It just has to show its face. Even a glimmer is enough.
This season, we invite you to follow the glimmer, whether it’s a new idea, uncovered possibilities in an old idea, or even the potential for finding joy in creativity or self-expression. Learn to play again, delve deep into your stories, learn from and share with others who understand the highs and lows of a creative life. We can’t predict what’s going to happen, nor can we prevent the tragedies of the future. But to paraphrase the great philosopher Mr Rogers, we can always look for the helpers and we can always seek out the glimmer.
– Kate Cuthbert