Acknowledging this crisis, then back to work

Hello, friends and others. I wish to acknowledge the current American Zeitgeist.

Since mid-March I have had plenty of upheaval, including the death of my father, the cancellation of my April wedding celebration (the marriage has gone on, just not the fancy party!), as well as disruption of all my performing, teaching, and vacation plans. The future has shrunk quickly.

The ill will, lack of leadership, and suffering caused by the executive branch of the U.S. government seems to have no limit. Ugly aspects of our era, politics, and culture are in our faces daily. I’m so sick of the Blame Game by the angry, ignorant children running this country that it hurts my stomach. I’m limiting public wailing, as well as personal consumption of the absurd, super-human onslaught of data, anecdotes, analysis, forecasting, and discussions of right and wrong. I get it already! Allegiance to politics, religion, or cult figures makes you think a certain way; pick your team; attack your enemy; look – another fire, it’s their fault! Ten minutes a day will keep me abreast of all that. We still have to figure out how to stay alive, heal, and continue to make a life. We have people to love and take care of, even if it is just ourselves.

Writing about the pandemic and its consequences is being done everywhere else in great torrents, better than I can. In this suddenly quieter, smaller period of my life, I can still sing and write about singing and the artist’s concerns, so I will. Readers can decide whether I’m “relevant” (as always). I’m happy if it’s an escape or a distraction for myself or for you. It sure as hell isn’t always brilliant revelation! I am inspired by the artists, the workers of all kinds, the parents, and everyone else who keep on doing what they do, as well as they can. Thank you!

On the “new normal”: “Normal” has always been an illusion. If you look beyond the fences of your accustomed life, you will always find people in chaos, systems in flux, and major problems. This crisis will cause interesting outcomes in terms of coping with both old and new problems. Those of us who are older, and especially those who are members of various minority groups, have seen facets of the current situation before. People who feel entitled to relatively smooth lives, because that is all they have ever known, are especially rattled right now. “Normal” will be constantly redefined in the next year, as it always has been. It’s very hard for some of those who have been in power for a long time to understand that for most people normal does not equal comfortable. Some of them will learn.

If you enjoy this blog, consider grabbing a copy of Sane Singing: A Guide to Vocal Progress, available in print and ebook!

6 Replies to “Acknowledging this crisis, then back to work”

  1. I’m sorry for the loss of your father and for the chaos we’re living in. Best wishes in your marriage.

  2. Hi Brian. I was in the NATS zoom chat with Melissa Treinkman tonight (June 27). Since it was a relatively small group, I decided to Google a few of the people who were in that zoom room. I love seeing what folks are all about on their teaching websites. Anyway, I’m so glad I clicked on your Blog link. This blog post was just what I needed! A nice pep talk to keep doing our work and make change – drop by drop by drop in our immediate surroundings. I thank you for the way you said this and wish you many blessings as your work in the world continues to bear its fruit. Laura Rushing-Raynes (Boise, ID)

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