Please allow me to introduce myself

Posted 1/30/20

I was a teenager in the 1960s when I first heard that song -- born in time to catch the wave of change that swept like a tsunami across the planet. Within a decade the world as it had once been was transformed forever.

A half-century later, I stand again on the cusp of a new year, a new decade and a new job.

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Please allow me to introduce myself

Posted

I was a teenager in the 1960s when I first heard that song -- born in time to catch the wave of change that swept like a tsunami across the planet. Within a decade the world as it had once been was transformed forever.

A half-century later, I stand again on the cusp of a new year, a new decade and a new job.

I guess one could say that I enjoy a challenge. At an age when many choose to retire, I'm still up for new beginnings, and most importantly, anything and everything that pique my curiosity and creativity.

I've always been this way, dancing to my own tune, never following the pack, nor, for that matter, particularly interested in the pack mentality. I've been called a rebel all my life, and have always heard it as a term of endearment rather than disparaging of my willful nature.

Beginning with my upbringing in South Africa during the height of apartheid, through all of my years here in America, more than 30 spent in Taos, I've always bucked trends and looked for meaning behind the face of things. Even when everything appears most dark or dire, I will seek the source of light.

I suppose I might be called an eternal optimist; I believe in the goodness of people and I believe in change, even while knowing that the more things change, the more they stay the same. History repeats itself. This is not a cliché - it's a fact. Time is cyclical and the faster we hurtle into the future, the more we mine the past.

I'm also a bit of a lay historian and a lifelong lover of words. A voracious reader -- the one accomplishment of which I am most proud is having passed my love of literature onto my children.

That love of words, of communication, is where and how I've plied my trade for over 40 years. First as a music journalist and then, when I felt rock 'n' roll was a bit undignified as I entered my 40s, I turned to writing about art and artists. Because it's always been about the people who make the work for me. The creative ones, those described by Jack Kerouac in "On the Road" as "the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes 'Awww!'"

Like Kerouac, the road was my first teacher in the school of life; travel broadened my horizons and deepened my understanding of humanity. The farther I traveled from all that was familiar, I became aware of how much more alike we are than different. And while I will always celebrate those differences, I will also continue to look for ways to build bridges that unite, rather than divide.

I have lived here, in this valley, longer than anywhere, including the place of my birth. Taos is my home. My children grew up here, and now my grandchildren. I could not be more grateful for the opportunity to have my offspring be a part of a community so richly diverse, so rooted in history, culture and tradition, at a time when America teeters on the brink of losing all connection to what is most authentic and real.

Often I feel as if I have come full circle: from seeking political asylum in the safety of my father's country, while fleeing the colonial horror of my motherland, I now realize it is all the same. And Gandhi was correct: We must be the change we wish to see in the world.

With that in mind, I will continue the tradition of Tempo, bringing you the best of art, culture and entertainment in Taos, as it grows, evolves and, yes, changes, to meet the demands of a new generation who dream of a brighter, more sustainable and inclusive future.

I hope you'll all stay with me on this new stretch of freeway.

-- Tempo Editor Lynne Robinson

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