COVID-19 shutdowns and safety precautions have us missing all kinds of social interactions—dinners with family, drinks with friends and artistic showcases of all kinds, from museums to theater and so much more.
Kathy Eldon, founder of the Malibu-based Creative Visions Foundation (a United Nations NGO), managed to bring together artists and creative people of all kinds for a virtual salon last month, celebrating the power of hope and launching Eldon’s new book, “Hope Rising, A Musing.”
“About five months into the corona shutdown, I woke up in the middle of the night with strange words going through my head. And I quickly—well, not quickly, I drowsily and annoyedly—pulled out a pad and wrote them down because I felt it was important somehow,” Eldon told interviewer Isha Sesay—a UN goodwill ambassador—during the virtual book launch.
“In the morning, I looked at my pad and it was like the first stanza of a poem,” Eldon went on. “I don’t write poems, I don’t particularly read poems, so I was amazed. It turned out to be a poem called ‘Imagine a Nation, a New Creation’ ... I sort of put it away, and then I thought, ‘That’s the end of that, I’m over it,’ and then two nights later it happened again, and again and again and again. Because it was so bizarre, I attributed the creative outpouring to what I call my Noisy Spirits.”
Eldon credits those spirits for much of her work as a documentary filmmaker, author and champion of “social impact entertainment.”
The virtual book launch event featured poets, musicians and those whom Eldon calls “global luminaries” including Julian Lennon, Kweku Mandela, Rain Phoenix, Rob Raco, Isabel and Grace Roosevelt, Joe Sumner, Marianne Williamson, Lucy Woodward, Diva Zappa, John Edward and Rocky Dawuni. Some recited or performed poems from Eldon’s book, while others reflected on the meaning of hope.
“I think ‘hope rising’ is us waking up in the morning,” Mandela, grandson of late South African president and revolutionary Nelson Mandela, said.
“Hope rising is us taking the time to understand that we each have the power to change the future, change our children and grandchildren’s future,” Mandela went on to say. “Hope rising is taking a moment to believe in ourself.”
Grace and Isabel Roosevelt, great-granddaughters of late U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his wife, the late first lady and activist Eleanor Roosevelt, reflected on Eleanor’s words when sharing their thoughts on hope.
“When you have decided what you believe, what you feel must be done, have the courage to stand alone and be counted,” the girls quoted, adding, “This inspires us to apply what life’s teaching us and believe that hope surrounds us, to create a world filled with prosperity and love.”
Eldon herself read excerpts from several poems as part of the launch, including the poem Hope in the Air: “With nowhere to go, no one to see/with nothing much to acquire/we saw how little we actually require/as we slip into despair/hope suddenly appeared in the air”
The book launch celebration can be viewed in full at creativevisions.org/hope-rising-launch-celebration