PAUL RAPPOPORT PHOTOGRAPHY2021 has been a tough year.Not much different from 2020 unfortunately, except for a few bizarre twists and turns.Just in part, consider the virus, the variants, the politics- foreign and domestic- global alienation and estrangement, isolation from loved ones, the loss of control over our lives and our destiny.Who among us has not felt waves of anxiety, depression, and hopelessness?I know I have.It has not been good.How many times these past two years have we felt like we were just going to lose our minds?Sure, at one time or another, we’ve all felt a little nuts.But the clock ticks forward, as it must— as must too, our gaze.Mired in the caverns of despair serves no one well.This is no time to lose our heads.True, sometimes we feel all alone,Like no one knows we’re even here,Or how we’re feeling inside.We may even want to retreat from the world at large.But isolation makes us feel worse.Like an observer, estranged, alien, and unable to engage with others.But, we know from scientific research as well as anecdotal evidence,that stress reduction can heal and rejuvenate.In fact letting our hair down once in a while, "letting it all hang out”,Even if it makes us look a little crazy,May be just what the doctor ordered.Sure, sometimes we feel lost,not knowing in what direction to turn.We get confused and can’t find our way home.We beg the powers that be to give us some love,Some insight:Provide answers to our plight and suffering.Still others become passive, detached,Sitting out the game, lost in the crowd,Feeling Zombie-like.At its extreme,We sometimes lose our sense of self.We may feel less human: even stone-like,Or not knowing who or what we are anymore.But psychological evidence shows that we need to push back.To keep body, mind, and spirit strong.To apply ourselves despite the onslaught from within and from without.We need to tough it out.To show some muscle.It is healthy emotionally to push forward.To refuse to take the crap that life is dishing out.To assert, state, and define for ourselves and others, the noble character that we are!To know when to tell the demons to Piss-off!Damn it! Just piss-off.Yes, now, this moment, this very moment, is definitely the time.The right time!2022 is the year to rebound.To look not just to “normalcy” but to normalcy and beyond— to recovery and a bright future.2022 is our time to come in out of the rain.It is time to grasp 2022 as OUR TIME.A time to change gears.To regain control of our lives; of our personal psychology.To not allow things beyond our control to define us.It is time to re-define ourselves.To get back on our feet.Time to stand tall.Taller than ever before!Now, this very moment, I am sure of it,Is THE best time to pick ourselves up,To lift up our skirts,To turn on the klieg lights,And yes, to totally, with all the flair we’ve got, dance in the streets.It is no longer a time to remain depressed,To let the insanity that surrounds us, take over.We can’t just say, the hell with it, "I’m not doing this anymore".We all know where that kind of thinking gets us.Sure, sometimes you feel like you don’t have it anymore.You’ve run out of gas.You just want to lay down and give up."Covid has defeated me. Democracy is dying" (if we let it).It just seems easier to throw up our hands and be done with it.But don’t let that kind of thinking get a grip on you.Believe me, it’s just a morbid fantasy.2022 is the year we bounce back.As one.As friends.As family.As a nation.Lofty, together, unified.Okay, maybe that was a little much. (Definitely a grandiose fantasy. Sorry.I can see that.)But if we allow ourselves to imagine success, to reach for wholesomeness, for good,Even to feel special,Maybe even like a 1933 Chrysler, wouldn’t that be uplifting?
2022 I’m betting is the year we rebound,The year we overcome loss and suffering,The year we push down barriers of all sorts,The year we jump hurdles.This moment is the time we allow ourselves to imagine the positive.To fantasize a bit.To take that ego boost wherever we can get it.You can even for a moment, suspend reality, and believe you’re Elliott Gould. (That’s ridiculous.)Wouldn’t that be cool though? (at least for a few minutes?)This is no time to capitulate.To lie down, prostrate ourselves, and give up.To close our eyes and pretend.Don’t go to sleep!2022 is the year we regroup.We need to put things behind us.Not to repress, but to learn from.To take control and wake up,From our slumber.I sense a HAPPY NEW YEAR.One where we will come together more (I am not naive),Put our heads together,And even imagine a glorious kiss from the universe of an uncommon kind.My optimistic self says we will once again re-connect.Humanity needs socialization to resume, to succeed.It is a psychological truth that companionship, being together,Relying on......And yes, even lying on each other, can comfort and rejuvenate.Granted, not all togetherness occurs in the same fashion.Some socializing can perplex us,Or disarm us, even annoy us.Some congregate in strange ways.But sometimes we can just feel comforted by,Being alone together.Now is the time, at the New Year,When we must show our courage,To not chicken out,To bring those chops,That muscle memory, those recollections of a life worth living,Home to roost.So I wish you all a good year.Enjoy. Let’s lighten the load.Lighten up.Have a happy year.A bonded together year,To find ourselves best in each other’s grip.A year where we can be together,Not as an artifact or a memory in time, but in the flesh,Where love, warmth, comfort, and optimism prevail.(Yes, for the curious, found at Jardin du Luxembourg)And remember, whether it’s 2020,or any other year,we all have something to offer.We all come bearing gifts,And if not in anyone else’s mind, then at least, it must be, within in our own.Remember, you, (we, all of us) especially after these miserable political and pandemic years, are a superhero!Haha.Gotta love it.Happy New Year Everyone.My best,Paul