We've been reflecting together on everything that's happening right now in our tumultuous world.
There's a great deal of devastation, with so many fighting for their lives. It's impossible not to absorb the pain of those suffering, the inhumanity of it all, the destruction. Everything we have, our basic well-being, our peace and even our ability to rest, is such a privilege. We've repeatedly asked ourselves, "how can we rest at a time like this?", "how do we go about posting normally?", "how do we email our community as usual?", or just… go about our lives when we're feeling so helpless at the horrific nature of it all?
We've been silent so far, but know that there's a lot that happens in silence. As musicians, especially, the silences are powerful. The silence before a piece begins, the silence of "rests" during the music, the silence afterward. These silences prepare you to speak, they give more power to what is said, and they give space to reflect.
Now after a couple of weeks of gathering our thoughts, we have some to share. These are a few ideas that have been helpful to us, and hopefully for you as a way to process and direct your energy:
1. Care for yourself. Poet-warrior Audre Lorde said, "Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare." Remember: rest helps us do the rest. The more rested we are, the more we can focus on the work at hand, whether that's doing our jobs, taking care of our families/community, or show up for those who are in need.
Think of your mental rest, physical rest, emotional and creative (or sensory) rest. What areas of your life do you neglect rest?
2. Be inspired by the strength of the Ukrainian people.
Here are four examples that we are re-sharing from our coach Marie Forleo:
- SNL’s cold open featured the Ukrainian Chorus Dumka of New York singing “Prayer for Ukraine.”
- This Ukrainian soccer player was moved to tears by the audience.
- The Ukraine Library Association published a message when they had to cancel an upcoming conference that basically says “We will reschedule just as soon as we have finished vanquishing our invaders.”
- Ukraine has been taking down street signs in an attempt to “confuse and insult Russian forces.”
3. Support Ukrainian artists and musicians where you can! A friend of ours, Saeunn Thorsteinsdottir, recently posted about a Ukrainian photographer she used via FaceTime who captured this incredible portrait. It's Ixi writing today, and when I saw this I immediately reached out and booked a session! You can too. Not only is her work quite beautiful, it's innovative! And - my former CSO music director, Paavo Jarvi, posted
this terrific idea of people booking AirBnb's in Ukraine, without the intention of ever checking in. I love how people are getting creative with how they're helping.
4. Know that silence is okay. It doesn't mean you're giving into fear, and it doesn't mean you're apathetic. Think about the silent spaces, whether it's in the music or in your daily life. How can they build your voice? Here in the beautiful city of Barcelona I visited the Miro Museum, and something the artist said is so genius:
"Look for the noise hidden in silence, the movement in immobility, life in inanimate things, the infinite in the finite, forms in a void, and myself in anonymity". In one way or another everything contains its opposite.
As for the emails and posts? Well, we deeply believe it's important to keep building our community in all of Music360's programs.
One Thriver put it: "I’m just glad to know I have a group of like-minded peeps . I’ve been needing to tune out a lot of media because I’m checking it obsessively and worrying about all of the unrest. Just keep thriving. Thanks for all the 💕". Another said, "I’m appreciating the cello practice tips. In times like these, remembering the 🤗 community of people of goodwill is essential."
Our ❤️s are with the people of Ukraine 🇺🇦 right now, and with any of you who are impacted by recent events. These are not easy times - but as Anthony McGill reminded us this week, what we must not lose is our hope.
p.s. Silence is okay, in fact, a lot happens in silence. This week, observe the silences that frame your sound. What's happening in them? Before and after you make a sound? When your tongue stops the reed's vibration? When you first put the instrument to your lips?