We’re three days away from the second largest Hearth Event of the year: cue my annual existential crisis. Last week, amidst slower than hoped ticket sales, expensive car maintenance, a family visit, and (as an atheist) my first adult attendance to Easter services, it was to be expected.
Thursday night, as I drew into the final leg of the week, I checked my phone for one last time before going to bed and accidentally fell down the rabbit hole of tragic news stories. Opinion pieces about the United Airline incident, tensions with Russia over Syria, the bomb on Afghanistan, each article felt like a physical blow. My brain, which had already been playing the “Does any of my work matter? Why am I putting so much effort into silly little art events that not that many people want to come to?” tape suddenly upped its ante.
When confronted with fraught national and international current events, my normal doubt tape leveled up like some psychological Pokemon and started asking “Why aren’t I doing anything to help? Why didn’t I take my early college smarts and go into law or medicine like everyone told me to? Have I wasted all my energy on self-indulgent projects?”
I let the tears come and tried to feel the fear instead of brushing it off like my New England culture has taught me to. Through much graceless trial and error, I’ve learned that once I’ve let my fears actually be heard, they often subside. Then I can remind myself what I know, with that deepest kind of knowing we so often ignore: that what I do matters.
In an era where we value money and power above all else (especially people); an era of endless globalization, digitization and industrialization that has challenged and eroded the very fabric of our communities and safety nets; an era of increasing violent nationalism built from fear and greed that is closing minds and hearts on all ends of the political spectrum, what I do matters.
I don’t know how to legally defend immigrants, create policies that protect people instead of money, draft peace talks between warring nations, investigate false claims from our leaders, or provide medical care locally or abroad. But I do know how to create spaces that bring people together for authentic interactions, exploring creativity, and practicing compassion. And that matters.
This is what I’ve been trained for, what I’m good at, and how I can contribute. These events, each little one, are the underpinnings of a community that creates more than it destroys, a community that cares. This is how I know to bring beauty and peace to the world.
This is what I make and it matters.
Come to WhatIMake: 2017 this Saturday, April 22, 2017 to experience the Hearth Community at its finest.
“Essentially what I do is take electricity and turn it into light using glass as the medium,” explained Wayne Strattman at the beginning of his talk on April 16, 2016. Wayne was one of 10 multidisciplinary makers who presented the first WhatIMake event hosted by Miranda’s Hearth at Artisan’s Asylum and Aeronaut Brewery. Wayne received aContinue Reading
written by Hearth Board Member, Nina Earley “Letters to a Young Poet” by Rainer Maria Rilke 90 pages, very quick read 4-6 hours total I gave this book to my brother as a gift when I first moved away from home; I think he must have been 15 or 16. I’d like to think itContinue Reading
written by Hearth Founder, Miranda Aisling Last month, the fifteen Hearth Embers met for our annual meeting to discuss why we do what we do. Out of all the organizations we can be a part of and all of the events that we can go to, what is it that continually draws us to theContinue Reading
On April 16, 2016, Emily Garfield kicked off the first annual WhatIMake event with a talk on Imaginary Maps. Emily, a local artist from Somerville who also serves on the board of Artisan’s Asylum, maps places that she makes up as she draws. “People have described them as something like my brain drawing itself,” sheContinue Reading
– written by Hearth Ember, Amy Beth Harrison Ann Patchett was someone I already admired before starting Commonwealth. I knew her from Bel Canto, a very memorable read, and then heard the story of how she opened her own bookstore because the last bookstore in her hometown of Nashville closed. Despite being an author rather than aContinue Reading
Hearth Ember Rebecca D’Antonio is at it again! For the Comfort Foods Potluck on March 12, she’ll be making beef stew in the slow cooker. Below is her recipe for a meal that will immediately make you want to curl up in a cuddly ball and fall asleep: This is one of those recipes that is highlyContinue Reading
When I first moved to Boston five and a half years ago, I was eager to dive into the creative worlds I had spent so much time preparing for in college. Figure drawing nights and open mics, art workshops and theater performances. As an interdisciplinary artist, I started going to as many different events as IContinue Reading
written by Hearth Board Member, Nina Earley I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou is a book I had been meaning to read for a long time. It’s easy to put off, I think I might have been worried that I wouldn’t be able to relate to the story and characters, itContinue Reading
Pears Poached in Pinot Noir (6 half pear servings) This month, Hearth Ember Rebecca D’Antonio is pulling out her Pinot Poached Pears for the Cook to Impress Potluck. Read her recipe to learn how to make it for yourself, and don’t forget to bring your signature date night dish next Sunday! Ingredients 3 cups PinotContinue Reading