Outside, a human wanders by, alone. Then no one comes into view for long stretches of time. A geezer wanders by with a small dog and a filled plastic bag. Remember back in the good old days when plastic bags were an issue? Then nobody for hours. Squirrels are free to feast on the remains of an impressive acorn harvest that hasn’t been buried by snow, unaware of all the jealous eyes watching from inside.
Nope. I’m not going to do this. Giving in to boredom or despair is worthless. I search for distraction, something to refuel the soul. Awhile back, my son convinced me to try Apple Music, and while I prefer vinyl at home, maybe there’s something there. The other day I used it to listen to Peter Gabriel’s Passion as Sonny and I went for one of those isolated walks. Very spiritual for both of us. Not feeling reflective today, I search his other albums and come across Flotsam and Jetsam, an extensive digital collection of rarities, alternate takes, and remixes.
I push play.
It’s a mellow, deja vu-laden start with his version of “Strawberry Fields” from All This and World War Too, an album of Beatles covers from, well, everybody, it seemed when Roger played it for me back in the late 70’s or early 80’s. Gabriel’s plaintive voice sounds so right for these days. It soothes, empathizes, offers lyrics that nourish even when they are not his own.
Soon the real surprise presents itself; this album is fantastic, offering fresh takes on classics and deep cuts … and club remixes. I haven’t danced in clubs since the first dates with the goddess (she still entrances me with that simple, adorable dance of hers, restricted these days to weddings and other events), but Gabriel has me bopping around the house, feeling more alive, more lively than I have since this started.
Who dances during a pandemic?
Between songs I feel guilty, concerned someone will see me grooving my way past a window and think I am one of those fools not taking this seriously. Then the next song starts and I am moving again. My spirit soars, and I arrive at gratitude.
We have so much wearing us down these days. If you find a groove, or can go back to one that is always reliable, it’s okay to dance. Maybe not in the middle of Shoprite, sure, but at home we all need to break the tension.
So go Shake The Tree, let off some Steam, take a musical Sledgehammer to the day, get some Perspective, dance D.I.Y., move it Big Time, and defiantly celebrate the Kiss of Life. You will still have time to get lost In Your Eyes and to admit that I Grieve.
This collection so renews me I find myself incredibly grateful for the arts I have found in my life. They have saved me so often. And they are saving me again.
I am writing this series to share ways to keep our spirits strong during this test of our humanity, our sense of community, and our faith in life. If you have something similar that what works for you (for today, music) please share it in the comments section. Your suggestion might save others right when they need it most.