The challenge of a new portal

De Facto

OPPORTUNITY The future offers us a chance to reshape our reality.

A reflection on past, present and future

De Facto
Liamy MacNally

The baby, the star and the wandering gypsies have all moved on. Advent, Christmas and Nollaig na mBan have all gone, slipped away into the ether of time, times past. We stand at the portal of a new year. We face forward because looking back, we might see more horror than wonder.
The Digital or Communications Age is fast giving up its mantle to the Age of Pandemia. It’s a new world. It is best to face forward in this portal. We cannot change the past but we can create the future. We might need new words and require a new architecture to mould our experience, if so, then let it begin.
The jargon of the past no longer offers buoyancy. Nostalgia is not what it used to be, as the resident wit always quips. The old days only bleed in our heads, searching for a mooring but the current is too strong. These are pioneering times, they stretch us and draw upon our reserves as much as they do our creativity. That is the challenge. We stand at the portal and we have a choice.   
The ghosts of the virus lurk around every corner of the mind, sometimes as sniper, sometimes in plain view, but always ready for combat. Such phantoms can strangle up our minds, seep through our veins as they tease and taunt their way to paralysis. We become consumed with fear, feeding it on a diet of media and politics, morning, noon and night. We become suffocated, as the life is slowly sucked out of us. But… we are at a portal. We now have a choice.
We can challenge ourselves to live up to our name – Anthropos – the upward looking one. Every civilisation has its own narrative of hope, a story or myth that reflects the triumph of the human spirit over adversity, any adversity, every adversity. From the Celts to the Babylonians and Persians to Hebrews the stories differ but the message is the same: we can overcome difficulty, all difficulty.       
Adversity makes us unsure, especially as we have come from a world of sureness. We knew where we stood and where everyone else stood. We knew the boundaries and, just like any child, we thrived on boundaries. We knew when we overstepped the line or missed the mark. The world of being sure has now been well and truly rattled, all feared up and, as some might hope, nowhere to go.
The portal is our opportunity. We can make new, be creative, welcome all the colours of the rainbow, far from the madding crowd of black and white. Purported leaders might be just that, purported. We are all made equal and a new portal is an opportune time to claim the cloak of collective individuality with all its inherent beauty. No one can take away my belief in myself, in my family, my friends, my community, my country.
It is time to have faith in ourselves, not in a selfish or arrogant way, but as individuals who form a part of a larger community of people. We are all part of the whole. We are in this together. Only with and through each other can we move forward with confidence and trust.
We don’t need the daily dose of diatribe that masquerades as news, we need to hear positive, good news stories about the human spirit. We need to encourage and support each other rather than skulk away in fear. We are people for whom common sense is the garden we need to tend, rather than become mired in the briars of statistics.  
We, upward looking ones, face a future with a self-confidence borne out of knowing that nothing, absolutely nothing, can separate us from the love of God; our first step from the portal.