Last Friday, I was excited about the prospect of being able to announce the launch of our new website this week. After months of work with a website consultant and my virtual assistant Michelle Galao (based in the Philippines), we were so close I could taste the triumph.
A peek behind the shiny website face--months of effort and so many drafts . . .
Only a few new top-of-the-page images were required, and no more special coding was needed. The template was set and I knew Michelle could knock those new images out in one work session. I gave her the go-ahead to click “publish,” fully expecting that when I woke up the next morning, the new website would be live.
Sigh . . . once again all my best laid plans went astray.
I woke up and excitedly checked my text messages from Michelle, expecting to see “It’s published!” Instead, there was the message that she had only been able to finish two of the new images because her internet was running really slowly. It seems that a passing typhoon was playing havoc with connectivity.
OK, the typhoon was on its way out of the neighborhood, so Monday was the day it was all going to happen. Once again, I went to bed Monday night, confident that I’d wake up to a whole new beautiful look on the HoonArts website.
But circumstances intervened once again to dash my hopes. Michelle’s text on Tuesday morning reported that she had actually finished the images and published the new website! BUT . . . it turns out that some of our existing “custom” pages didn’t automatically pass through to the new website like we expected. Instead, they were just blank pages! So Michelle had to republish the old website, while she recreates those “custom” pages on the new website, which will take several days at least.
The website is the shiny face a small business like HoonArts presents to the world. Our social media channels offer supplemental sparkle. But the authentic, behind-the-scenes reality is often very, very messy—filled with daily challenges and no quick and easy solutions.
It’s that perpetual blast of daily challenges and daily failures that sometimes has me asking myself, “Should I just give up? Am I the right person to be doing this? Maybe this just isn’t meant to be. Maybe I’m too tired to carry on . . .”
On Wednesday morning, I woke up to news headlines that some parts of the Philippines were being lashed by the typhoon “on its way out” and there was a lot of damage. When the last big typhoon hit the Philippines, Michelle’s family home was heavily damaged and uninhabitable, and she couldn’t work for two months.
Michelle's Family at Her Brother's Recent Wedding, Except for the Brother She Described as "Allergic to Photos" (Michelle is second from right)
It’s amazing how that kind of news can make you rethink what’s really important. All I cared about was making sure that Michelle and her family were safe.
I’m still waiting for her to finish recreating those “custom” pages on the new website. I’m still frustrated that it’s taking so long. And I had to come up with an entirely new topic for this week’s blog and newsletter, which is always a mental pain. So you got the messy behind-the-scenes story.
But the typhoon helped remind me of WHY I founded HoonArts and WHY it’s worth continuing the journey.
We are at a tipping point in human civilization where the ripple effects of our choices and actions reach around the globe. We are all part of a global eco-system—environmentally, socially, and economically. And, we must transform the mindset of humanity to recognize that reality, or we will destroy ourselves.
We have to collaborate to solve our very complex global problems. We need to bring both our common humanity and our different perspectives to the table if we have any hope of solutions that will help humanity (and not just small pockets of us) and the planet flourish.
HoonArts is my tiny contribution to that effort, using the lens of the traditional arts of the Silk Road countries of Central Asia. I do what I do to help you experience the authentic culture of an unknown part of the world.
My vision is that the ripple effects of providing the HoonArts doorway into that unknown world will lead more and more people to recognize our common humanity and appreciate our beautiful diversity. And stop hating or fearing those that are different. And start working together to build a more joyful and equitable world for ourselves and future generations. If we don’t, we’re sunk (perhaps quite literally)!
And it all starts with real individuals and their real stories. Art is the hook to grab people’s attention, and inspire them to go deeper and touch that heart-centered place that lurks within.
And THAT is a goal worth pursuing, even when the road seems impossibly long and even impassible at times. So no, I’m not giving up.