It’s Time for Cultural Alchemy

Of course we must be conscious of the grave nature of the present crisis and certainly we should be looking out for our more vulnerable family, friends and acquaintances but, parking all such justifiable fears and concerns for a moment, we writers, artists and musicians need to seize this opportunity that enforced social distancing now offers us before it evaporates.  Self-isolation is our default position.  Of all people, it is we, the creative introverts, who can turn this darkness into light.  It’s time to switch into hermit mode, put aside our anxieties of the factors over which we have no influence and make best use of the free time to come.

Let’s face it; most of us have at some point in the past bemoaned the lack of time we can devote to some magnum opus we’ve planned for years.  Well, here it is.  Get the shopping done, check in with the loved ones, clear that desk or studio, unplug the TV and get down to it.  It’s almost April now. We may be hived away through no fault of our own ’til June, July, who knows, even August.  If we play this right, come September we may have produced a deluge of fantastic works to share – plays, novels, poetry, paintings, musics, complex digital works that maybe show the way for future online collaborative practice.

We’re already ankle deep in a tide that might just change the world we know forever.  All you introverts, you deep thinkers, you veterans of self-isolation, this is your time – dazzle us with your dreams, blind us with your brilliance, show us how the future looks for the arts, take the precious base metals of these precious few weeks or months and work your alchemy to produce your gold.

You’ve got this!


Barry Hale

distilling the elixirs

March 2020