2021 in the rear-view

Reflections on 2021


The space-time continuum seemed to warp this past year, contracting and elongating: While the post-election, pre-insurrection days when election truthers seemed crazy but not necessarily dangerous seem like forever ago, it also feels like just a few weeks ago we were lining up for our first vaccine shots, optimistic that 2021 would bring relief from the pandemic, some succor from a 2020 marked by viruses and a president bent on destroying our democracy.

But now, as some of us retreat to our bubbles in the face of omicron, as half of congress is desperately trying to protect election integrity from the other half, while a Democratic senator who represents just 0.5 percent of Americans is tanking a bill which will keep 10 million children from slipping into poverty, optimism can feel in short supply.

Yes, 2021 was another challenging year, particularly the third week of March here in Boulder when ten of our neighbors were senselessly murdered in a mass shooting. 

Novelist James Lane Allen famously conceived the notion that “adversity does not build character, it reveals it.” 

That line echoed through my mind while reading Boulder Weekly managing editor Caitlin Rockett’s account on page 11((???)) in this issue of attempting to both cover the shooting just a couple football fields away from our office and retain her humanity in the face of overwhelming tragedy and grief.

Boulder Weekly writers (and our fearless leader, founder and CEO Stewart Sallo) are sharing their reflections of 2021 in our final installment of the year, and what’s remarkable is the optimism that remains. Fear, confusion, grief, and loneliness are overcome by the sheer humanity of our communities, the people we depend on and the people who depend on us.

We’re interested in your reflections, as well, and we’d be honored if you’d share them with us by emailing letters@boulderweekly.com.

We’d be remiss not to offer our appreciation to you, the readers, writers, advertisers, fans, and even haters—your support (and even your righteous indignation and criticism) is what propels us to continue to strive to be a community-building platform that contributes to the growth and evolution of Boulder County as we, too, grow and evolve.

Click the links below to read our reflections on the year that was.

—Brendan Joel Kelley

A Deadhead Cyclist Pandemic, by Stewart Sallo

Truth follows: A professional reckoning in the wake of tragedy, by Caitlin Rockett

A year in three tracks: Notes on feeling music for the first time, by Emma Athena

Coming of age in an altered world: Young adulthood in the pandemic age, by Chloe Lindahl


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