A Whimsical Notion: Steampunk Hands Around the World #1

Greetings from Australia, and welcome to Steampunk Hands Around the World.
(This week’s Photo Friday will be posted on Sunday 5th Feb)

Over the next month I’ll be sharing my thoughts on how steampunk makes my life better. You can also read the thoughts of other steampunks from around the world – from the UK, Germany, Mexico, US, Sweden, Spain… and more. You can find a list of all participants at the Airship Ambassador’s pages.

Today I start with an important lesson I re-discovered, thanks to steampunk:

to look at the world with the wonder of a child and embrace whimsy (1)

When I look at the state of the world today, it makes me shiver. Literally. I shiver, my heart palpates. The constant bombardment of negative news, posts, tweets feed discontent, feed anxiety, feed the fear – with tumultuous results. Our world  is in crisis. Our Earth is dying. Our people, crying.

The world needs something to smile about; I need something to smile about – something, however small, to look forward to. Embracing whimsy is not frivolous. It is a form of protection. Ever wondered why we rally to fantasy movies and books in times of recession? When reality is unbearable we search for escape.

That is one way steampunk has made my life better. Look at some aspects of steampunk:

  • looking back to an era of etiquette and manners.
  • recreating history (well the good bits – like quest for knowledge and wonder of discovery), with a fantastical or fictional twist.
  • turning even the mundane items into individual works of art by
  • encouraging imagination, individuality,
  • and recycling and/or up-cycling unwanted items into artistic items of wonder.
  • whimsical cross-overs – steampunk pirates, steampunk fairies, steampunk Star Wars, steampunk Doctor Who – you get the gist.
  • Tea. There’s lots of tea.  (All those antioxidants are good for you.)

So, how has steampunk made my life better? It’s taught me to focus on the little things, the beautiful things and beautiful people. It’s given me another strategy to cope with anxiety. I write, I create art and costumes. I socialise with supportive, like-minded people.

We need to discover the wonder and inspiration of the glinting treasures below the steaming pile of coal. We can strive to find ways to access that treasure and show the world it’s beauty.

So here are Karen’s Rules of life:

  1. ‘Be excellent to each other’.
  2. Look for the hidden treasures and beauty in life.
  3. Encourage imagination.
  4. Rediscover how to have fun.
  5. Don’t let the tyrants win.
  6. Drink tea.

  1. Definition: Whimsical: “Playfully quaint or fanciful, especially in an appealing and amusing way.” – Oxford Dictionary. Synonyms: fanciful, playful, mischievous, waggish, quaint, fantastic, unusual, curious)

5 thoughts on “A Whimsical Notion: Steampunk Hands Around the World #1

  1. Wonderful insight! ^_^

    Though, I would like to say one thing, that may help a bit as well… I hope.

    The Earth is not dying. Changing violently and in ways that have been proving detrimental to much of what modern society has built, yes. But not dying.
    I am not denying climate change/global warming, etc. Simply pointing out that these things are, in fact, a massive acceleration of what is a part of the planets normal cycle.
    What we have done is, effectively, moved the scheduled for the planners next ecological reset ahead by a huge amount. (I don’t know the exact number)

    In short, though human negligence has certainly done a great deal of damage, it is not permanent, and is actively beginning to recover. Though it may be in a geological time frame.

    If you want some proof, look at recent pictures and records of Chernobyl and Pripyat. Arguably one of the worst environmental disasters in history, even today.
    And yet, it’s green. Plants are growing, THROUGH the pavement and buildings. Animals are still living, and thriving there. This is not all new or even particularly recent, ether. All in spite of the radiation levels, and man made structures.

    I live in Wisconsin, USA. I have seen this sort of thing first hand here too (minus the radiation, of course). Houses, paved roads, entire factories, left unattended and maintained for even a few years. And there are healthy trees growing inside, pushing through the pavement and foundations. Along with grass, flowers, and inhabited by more wild animals than you can count. I’ve seen this even start to happen with in the space of a few months, or less, as well.

    It is truly astonishing, and to me at least, incredibly heartening to see that; even with everything, all the damage that has been done to this planet. It continues to push forward, given even the slightest opportunity, and does so with a vengeance.

    I hope this helped you in at least one respect. ^_^

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