"Rebuilding" by Joke
It’s not going to be long.
Basically, a big and huge and deep and fat and heartfelt Thank You to all who have been so supportive – in different ways – of us during 2022, but not only 2022, especially also since COVID struck and threw our plans and budgets and rhythms into a spin.
So it’s been COVID and that year of the complete standstill, then 2021 with its ups and downs and unpredictabilities, then Joke’s PTSD also in that year, who forced us to ask for your financial support. And then came this horrid year of the car, where we were again forced to ask you to help out, and again you came forward, for which we can only be thankful indeed. But also a promise to you that we will continue, now more than ever, to bring our creative gifts forward – to share and to invest in you, in return.
The good news is that the “horrid” car is running again, and running well. Pretty, pretty well. It is a good car, after all, even though it spews diesel gases into the atmosphere. Hopefully our next car (in 10 years?) will be more friendly to the environment.
Now comes the time to rebuild - financially, also rebuilding connections, and for Joke, rebuilding her daily life, in which she is making solid strides – that I can assure you!
Mira came through all this rather unscathed. But not unaware. She had to cry bitterly at times when the “rainbow car” went “kapot” again. She is too young to understand where Mamma’s pain comes from, even as it is very visible and present at times. She also shows signs of being heavily dependent on our presences in a little world where houses and scenery, friends and rhythms change constantly. We are her anchors in more than the usual way and she is holding tight. But her sprit and creative abilities keep flowering. And she grows!
I found a new depth in performing. Much is lying ahead in terms of evolving as “the HA!Man” on stage. More drama, more story, more of my thinking seeping through the music and imagery, for instance. And Joke has framed herself as a visual artist for now. She moves and learns and produces through different media and styles, contributing more and more to our income through sales of cards and prints and commissioned work.
The HA!World Online Experience keeps going too with new releases each week and a growing library. We believe our subscription base should be bigger in terms of people who we know would love to experience our work on a more ongoing basis (at a minimal fee) and we would like to encourage you to consider subscribing into the new year, also as a means of supporting us financially.
Finally, in the world at large, Putin’s violent adventures did not help anyone – least himself, and the health of the planet keeps becoming more critical. In South Africa we now live with almost permanent (scheduled) electricity blackouts, and technological development (and ownership) keeps becoming more disruptive – more in the bad than the good sense of the word.
Personally, taking my cue from Joke, I intend focusing more on what is healthy in the year to come. While it is critical to face problems, getting through them paradoxically means not dwelling on them all the time. The negativity of the media lens on current affairs makes it hard to find and maintain trust in one’s fellow humans. Yet, it often takes just a little switch to find out that things are not as really as bad as it might feel.
As artists, we are here to show up the dark, yes, but at the same time, to instill the trust that it won’t swallow us.
After all, the rainbow car is running again!
With love and best wishes from us
Francois (and Joke and Mira)
HA!MAN (Francois le Roux) spontaneous performer in partnership with Joke Debaere