As we’ve said before, we steadfastly refuse to call this time a time of social distancing. If anything, this experience has made us all figure out the multitude of ways in which we can still connect with one another. At the choir we have formed online chat groups, become Zoom experts, picked up the phone, even written old fashioned letters.
But it’s still not the same as gathering, is it? It’s why we’re reaching out to you today.
We just want to say hello, and that we are thinking of you and hope you’re staying healthy. We hope you have what you need, that you are taking care of yourself and sleeping well. We hope you have all the music and books you can get your hands on, and we hope your Netflix/Amazon Prime queues are long.
More than anything, we hope that you are able to find an upside in this prolonged pause, whatever that may be for you. And there are upsides to be had – many of us in the choir are perfecting bakes, reading more to our kids, and rediscovering beloved works of arts and letters across all media.
To that end, here are a couple of things to read and listen to.
First, this beautiful sentiment from Washington Post editor, Ruth Marcus. With Passover starting today, the article is about maintaining tradition and community when you cannot gather. It’s lovely, bittersweet, and ultimately hopeful. And it has the perfect headline: “Next year, may we be together.” May “next year,” whatever that is for you, come soon!
Second, the lovely and now widely shared poem, Pandemic by Lynn Ungar. If you haven’t seen it, it’s worth a read.
What if you thought of it
as the Jews consider the Sabbath—
the most sacred of times?
Cease from travel.
Cease from buying and selling.
Give up, just for now,
on trying to make the world
different than it is.
Sing. Pray. Touch only those
to whom you commit your life.
And when your body has become still,
reach out with your heart.
Know that we are connected
in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.
(You could hardly deny it now.)
Know that our lives
are in one another’s hands.
(Surely, that has come clear.)
Do not reach out your hands.
Reach out your heart.
Reach out your words.
Reach out all the tendrils
of compassion that move, invisibly,
where we cannot touch.
Promise this world your love–
for better or for worse,
in sickness and in health,
so long as we all shall live.
Needless to say, it has already been turned into a gorgeous choral arrangement.
In community and music
– all of us at VCS