In some parts of the world, people will be waking up to bright sunny skies at this time of year. It’s been a long time since I experienced that sensation. In my neck of the woods I wake up to darkness on days when I have commitments away from home, in the winter months. This fact of life is bound to have some impact on the way I see things.

This time of year feels suitable for hibernation. In other words, it makes sense to use the time at one’s drawing board, planning for the months when the sun will be shining as I open my eyes. It doesn’t make me want to look backwards, but there is a sense that one is preparing for more extroverted activities.

For those of us who do imaginative work, there is no reason to be less enthusiastic about this stage of the creative process than any other. There is an interesting challenge for us to deal with if we are of African descent and we consciously draw inspiration from parts of our heritages in our work however.

African derived modes of expression seem to have specific purposes in the global imagination. Our communication with symbols is associated with festivities, sunshine and smiling faces. All of these elements are certainly present in our people’s lives, but there are other dimensions to our lives as well that are less well documented.

Coming back to a recurring theme in my ruminations, it feels like some redefining needs to take place, to enable other aspects of our lives to be chronicled. Waking up to darkness in a location far from Africa can be a helpful tool, if our artists are willing to be truly authentic.