While we isolate in our homes, our hearts reach out through song.
It is 6 in the evening in Italy, and a man goes to his balcony and begins to sing with his neighbors — all of them quarantined in their homes. They listen to the tenor sing Nessun Dorma — No One Sleeps.
The message is clear. It is time to wake up. To clear off the dust of chaos from our eyes and take in the day. The uninterrupted moments, its sounds and scents, the sensation of stillness and quite. It is time to clean up and clear out and brush off the talents we let go dormant. Letter writing. Planting gardens. Singing, dancing, playing an instrument, identifying birds, painting, cooking, sculpting sweet nothings out of nothing but clay and sand.
Yesterday, Maurice Ravel’s Boléro came on All Classical FM, and my son turned it up. I grabbed a drum and out we went, blaring the music to the community while beating out the rhythm on an old drum I had picked up in India 26 years ago, but never played. Then early this morning, with the music still in my mind, I found a wonderful video of the Wiener Orchestra playing the same piece (below). I took my computer outside and stretched and danced with the sound of the orchestra slowly building to a crescendo. A neighbor walked by with her dog. The dog broke free and stood beneath my balcony listening and watching. She was standing waiting for her dog, looking up as well. The three of us in the light of pre-dawn.
We are all surrounded by a pre-dawn light. Life during and after Corona is a new opportunity. Despite all the fright and fear brought by these times, we have a chance to understand that around the globe, despite despair, and tyranny and manufactured hostilities there is the opportunity to raise our arms to the sky and sing and dance.
If this virus teaches us anything, I hope it teaches it is not just disease we can easily transmit across the globe, but also joy and hope and love and a sense of wonder and beauty. That ultimatly the borders we construct are as permiable as air. That the differences that we insist define us, are as weightless as song.
Spreading joy is one of the greatest most exponential acts we can undertake. Thank you for being a part of that great creative action.