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:
- 'Be excellent to each other'.
- Look for the hidden treasures and beauty in life.
- Encourage imagination.
- Rediscover how to have fun.
- Don't let the tyrants win.
- Drink tea.
- Definition: Whimsical: "Playfully quaint or fanciful, especially in an appealing and amusing way." - Oxford Dictionary. Synonyms: fanciful, playful, mischievous, waggish, quaint, fantastic, unusual, curious)