Countdown to Week 6 in the Backwards Record Release for Stingray. Six is unique in numbers as it is both the sum and the product of three consecutive positive numbers. Six is congruent. Man was made on the 6th day. Six is lucky. Six is unlucky. It depends who you ask.
The song for the week, Silkworm, is about existing within loss, living with grief.
As we experience this pandemic in real time, the theme of grief (for me) shifts from my personal experience with loss to our shared loss happening right now. The sum of lives lost here in 2020 is immeasurable. There are so many different ways to organize the data collected by governments and agencies — charts, graphs, data points by region, each one siphoning off a way of understanding the tragedy in a single statement. But each loss is an individual moving about their own storyline, whose death rattles like a quake under the ground of their world, a seismic event felt and heard off the charts.
A second tier of our collective grief right now is a result of the rattling sweep of the haves to take even more advantage of the have nots. It happens like clockwork in crisis, and it’s happening now. It’s too easy to ignore people you don’t know. But they are here. This isn’t a straightforward grief, like when you lose someone you love up close. This builds over time, as your awareness opens. The poor, orphaned, ill, homeless, the trafficked, the enslaved, the targeted. These abuses take so many different forms and are delivered in the news with all sorts of spin you might not know what you are looking at. What specific measures can we take to protect and care for people who need it the most? It will take more than “voting them out.” More seismic shifts are needed to change our sense of responsibility for other people, and to defang the system that promotes abuse of the vulnerable.
A third tier of our grief is watching things change, skid, slip away –businesses close, people move on, jobs redefine roles– and knowing, we aren’t going back. We will arrive at a point where Covid-19 is no longer on our minds, but we aren’t going back to pre-pandemic. This one is a warning call. Our unhealthy global approach to the environment, nourishment, government, health, wealth and spirit is taking its toll. There is a tendency to create sepia toned memories of earlier times, when things were simpler, better, clearer. Shred those momentos. We aren’t going back.And so this week’s theme is a little tricky, not happy or entertaining, but it’s true, and universal. Music is about creating a space where feelings can run their course, so tricky themes are doing their job.
What are your thoughts about grief? How do you live with it?
I hope you have a great week in spite of the news. Stay in touch! Send me your inspired words and work, things that are getting you through this moment.
Love! Xo Hannah
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