I woke up this morning, November 5, 2020, and the US 2020 presidential election results are still up in the air. The Covid-19 Pandemic is still raging across the globe, and at an all time high in the US. Social and racial injustice is still a reality here and around the world. There seems to be no end to the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. Climate change is still accelerating. The coming "holiday season" looks bleak.
And however bad things look for us here in the United States, I can assure you that they are much worse for our artisans and their families in the "Stans" of Central Asia. They face the same problems, but with fewer resources to deal with them--fewer health care resources, fewer financial resources, and fewer choices in all aspects of their lives.
I have developed a standard answer for when my daughters or my closest friends ask me, "How are you really doing?" I say, "I just want a light at the end of the tunnel. Even the tiniest light . . ." Like so many, I'm desperate for hope in this time of darkness.
When I planned this blog post, I knew I wanted to write something short and simple about hope. But I wasn't sure what to say.
So I took my daily early morning walk around the neighborhood, waving to all my masked neighbors doing the same. I listened to one of my favorite podcasts while I walked. I followed that up with the "Daily Coaching" lesson on my new phone app that is doing its best to help me develop new positive habits of daily life.
Somehow, the magic of life worked on me and it all came together. I suddenly saw that hope itself is the light at the end of the tunnel.
Then I looked for a good quote about hope, and the quote from Laini Taylor appeared on my phone. I'd never heard of her before. But her message perfectly captured the essence of hope as a force for action, not a simple passive sense of waiting for things to get better.
So that's where I am standing. And where HoonArts is standing.
We hold the possibility of coming out of this long dark tunnel to a better future for the entire world as our own internal light at the end of the tunnel. And with that light within, we can make things happen.
So, for now, we'll focusing on:
1. Building community, working to truly understand other people, especially those who are not "like us", so that we can begin to appreciate our differences and learn to work together for the common good.
2. Finding ways we can make a difference TODAY in the lives of those around us (and across the globe). We can't change yesterday and we can't control tomorrow. But if we focus on today, we can control what we do, how we react to circumstances, and how we choose to interact with each other.
3. Remembering that trees need the wind to build their strength.
HOLIDAY HOPE PROGRAM LAUNCHING SOON: BIG PRODUCT DISCOUNTS AND LOTS MORE
So, how does "hope in action" relate to selling artisan made fashion and gifts from the "Stans" of Central Asia? We're in the midst of planning a whole winter/holiday program called "Holiday Hope" to get things moving in as many ways as possible.
We're working out all the details, but it will include substantial discounts on our unique artisan-made products EVERY SINGLE WEEK. We'll be sharing authentic stories about our artisans and their lives and culture that will showcase our common humanity and the beauty of our diversity. We'll be raising revenue that will go 100% to our artisans for new orders and related expenses. And we'll be updating you regularly on results, so that you can see that your participation in our community is making a difference.
Stay tuned for the details. To make sure that you get all the discount codes and updates, subscribe to our email list. If you're already on our list, make sure you open every email.
And if you're wondering about our gorgeous photo above, it has its own story. Our Tajikistani coordinator Bakhriddin Isamutdinov (who visited New Mexico in 2014 and personally inspired the creation of HoonArts) took this photo on one of the many eco-tourism adventures he has led in Tajikistan. Bakhriddin gave us permission long ago to use any of his photos for HoonArts and we're eternally grateful.
Taken in the Pamir Mountains region of eastern Tajikistan, this photo captures the gorgeous night sky of a land without urban light pollution. It also showcases a Kyrgyz yurt deep inside Tajikistan. Like all the "Stans" of Central Asia, Tajikistan is a rich multi-ethnic country.
Bakhriddin at the Albuquerque Museum Sculpture Garden, October 2014.
Dinner with Bakhriddin and his family during our October 2015 visit to Tajikistan. That's me on the right, with my husband Jim behind me.