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Revolutionary Acts of Optimism is Shannon's 7th full-length studio album.
03 Broken Frames
04 She Will Dance
05 Infinite Lines
06 Holy Fire
09 Letter From the Future
10 Dear Little Girl
"Revolutionary Acts of Optimism." That’s quite a mouthful of a title, isn’t it? And also a bit of a handful of an idea, don’t you think?
I wondered, as we were giving this album its big name, if at some point you might ask:
So, Shannon … optimism, huh?
Isn’t that a little trite?
I see that word and I totally get an “inspirational kitten poster” vibe.
And … what’s this about it being revolutionary?
Don’t you think that’s asking a bit much? Trying a bit too hard? Shooting a little … too high?
I feel you. There have been times in my life in which I’d have asked those same questions. So let me tell you about where my mind and my heart have been during the time in which we made this record. Here goes:
First of all. I’m tired. How about you?
… Because everyday life can be exhausting.
… Because the news often seems to be a firehose of trouble.
… Because there are days that with every bit of progress I make, the more I feel like I’m falling behind.
And my heart is broken. How about yours?
… Because there are unhealed relationships in my life, and people I care about are hurting.
… Because sometimes, things to which I’ve given my heart don’t bring the love back to me that I’d hoped they would.
… Because the suffering in the world seems so much bigger than me; the problems, too complicated ever to be solved.
Do you feel me?
Discouragement, hopelessness, and cynicism are easy to come by. Especially, I think, in this time.
And if that were the end of the story … well … then … perhaps it would be time to close up shop. Give in to the powers that be. Let the status quo win.
But WHAT IF …
… there were another way?
What if … there is more available to us than we’ve seen? What if … we are more powerful than we know? What if … there is enough of what we need for all of us? What if … there is a whole other frame through which we can take in the view?
Here’s an idea:
When the powerful require our cynicism
in order to maintain systems of oppression;
When entrenched structures require our hopelessness
in order to stop us from making progress;
When the status quo requires our discouragement
in order to keep us from living our best lives …
Our optimism is an act of revolution.
Maybe we can change everything …
… with a sober assessment of the challenges we face in our lives and in the world,
… followed by a choice to focus our eyes on what’s POSSIBLE.
That … is what’s been on my mind. And so that … is the record I wrote: Revolutionary Acts of Optimism.
It’s all about the idea that there is more, that there is enough, that embracing possibility is where an unsatisfactory status quo ends and revolution begins.
Some revolutions are small and personal.
Some revolutions are big and structural.
And they all begin with a wide, open-armed embrace … of possibility.
So … here is my offering to possibility.
Here’s to optimism.
And here’s to the revolution.