Lisa Severn, the lead for the Vital Signs Project at the Community Foundation of Whistler, recently observed in the newsletter that “After a few end of year conversations, I have come to realize that many Whistlerites are more than ready to say goodbye to 2022. It doesn’t matter what industry you work in or volunteer in, there always seemed to be an unmet need waiting to be met.
That’s not to say that folks haven’t appreciated the successes or that they haven’t been plentiful. It’s just that the challenges have been relentless for more folks than ever before.”
She’s not the first person that I heard say something to the effect of “see you later 2022, and don’t let the door hit you on the way out.” One friend articulated it brilliantly, “May 2023 not be a dumpster fire. Please.”
There’s something here worth circling back to, in the coming months : we are being asked to do more with less. What can we do to resource ourselves in such a reality?
But for now, I was inspired to pass on an offering from a poet, Stasha Ginsbourg, who goes by the tag The Wild Remembering, and who invited us to pick up our pots and pans and revive a tradition that pre-dated those innocent early days of pandemic solidarity when people would stand on doorsteps and bang pots and pans in support of health workers, and also, I think, rallying their own spirits, as they did hard things, with the bravest hearts.
Even before that, there was a tradition of banging pots and pans to shoo away the bad vibes of the past year, usher out any ghoulies that had gotten stuck in the corners of the house. Any darkness took up residence over the past few plague-infested years? Go bang a saucepan and flush it out. (Apparently, this is a tradition Down Under, although I never heard of it. We are in a time of remix so I say, go for it, and don’t worry if you’re a few days late.) Who knows what catharsis it will bring you.
Because, in all sincerity, I think rituals will be one of the things that might help resource us access deeper reserves, not just to keep giving to the needs, but to remake the systems that are breaking down.
I was just reminded
￼ that if you have not yet banged your pots and pans with your family or friends or just by yourself or with your pet fish
all around your house inside and outside
(neighbor relations permitting)
￼Like for real. A procession.
The louder the better.
The more the merrier.
￼What a great way to use your new wooden spoons or your favorite pot or a rolling pin and clang it on a wok.
￼If the tradition of the new year has you blue
or if you find yourself carrying weights
from the past into the now
or just something feels stuck
(there’s lots of stuck out there, have compassion)…
￼pots and pans and bangs and clangs
to the rescue.
It is a weird wonderful New Year’s tradition.
￼Think about it.
Didn’t you love banging pots and pans
when you were a kid? ￼Why not be a big kid
for a moment and bang that shit gone.
The stuck, the old, the scary,
the dark, the frozen, the dreary.
Move the energy with your arms
and body and voice and noise.
Be a gyoto monk for a spell.
Use a didgeridoo. Horn. Drum. Kazoo.
Beat it bang it clang it noise it
Old year shadows and ghosts
The Wild remembering