Life has two principle truths: you are either growing or you are dying. Period. This applies to people, places and things: animal, vegetable and mineral.
Mohawk is a town that is dying. It is filled with people who are struggling mightily with this reality. Trying desperately to reverse the course of their town or, at the very least, avoid the same course for their own lives. In the midst of decay, of buildings, businesses, roads, schools, churches and population – how does one resist the pull toward the same?
Life is full of change – it is virtually the only true guarantee in life. Everything changes, constantly – this occurs at an ever-faster rate year by year. Failure to embrace change, to see it as an opportunity for growth, is to get trapped in its wake. The stories and characters in Mohawk reveal individuals who are caught in this wake – terrified of being sucked under buy equally terrified of letting go of the known.
This is a common feeling – especially at mid-life. This is when we start to complain about how things “used” to be, what a better world it was 30 years ago, how screwed up everything is today and how the world is going to “hell in a hand basket.” It is not. Read newspaper, magazine and literary accounts of any time period in our past and you will find passionate proclamations of the “downfall of society.” Every current generation has a segment that laments what is current and feels great nostalgia for what was in their past.
This relates to technology, cars, work, school – everything. Constant change is our new reality. People have not changed. We can choose to embrace the changes and focus on what does remain the same or focus only on the “things” that have changed. One perspective represents growth (life) and the other represents death (decay).
Mohawk is a heartfelt, endearing, moving and blunt portrayal of life surrounded by decay. The lesson to be learned is that we always have a choice. Characters throughout the story dream of leaving (escaping) Mohawk, they believe that a better life exists on the other side of the city limits. The tricky nature of decay is that it is as much mental as it is physical. It really resides within and it will follow you wherever you go. It is a paradigm through which one views the world – we see expansion or contraction, life or death, – you can change your life when you change your view.
Be Strong. Stay Hungry. Walk Tall.