Change happens.

Sometimes it happens all at once with devastating strength. A diagnosis or a loss appear out of nowhere.

Other times it is more gradual. I see it out of the corner of my eye but choose to put on blinders. I hear it coming but choose to crank up the noise around me, so I don’t have to pay attention.

I know it well. Denying change feels like the right thing to do at first.

I sit there feeling the winds of change as an uncomfortable draft at my feet. I shudder and reach for thicker socks. …

It is easy to identify President Trump’s shadow.

He calls others liars because he lies.

He blames violent behavior on others because he instigates it.

He talks about about “law and order,” because he is circumventing the law.

He blames others for corruption… go ahead — you can continue and just fill in the blanks.

Projecting one’s own shadow onto others and blaming them for it, has been a main tactic in Trump’s playbook.

But it is not just President Trump who does this.

No matter who wins, we are facing a nation that, in Jungian terms, projects its shadow…

These days, social media lights up with claims that Covid-19 is a lie; that it is no worse than the flu; that social distancing measures are attempts at enforcing “socialism,” etc.

Holding tension between our thoughts, feelings, and our actions (or lack of ability to act) in times of such uncertainty is extremely difficult. It is difficult for everyone.

It is difficult for those who have to put their lives at risk every day to go to work.

It is difficult for those of us who have lost our ability to work and generate an income.

It is difficult for…

Photo © Jon Trout 2008

At this time of year, major religions offer stories about overcoming obstacles, pain and death. They have rites that make it possible to come together as a community to celebrate a spirit of hope and renewal.

Through thousands of years, before our major religions appeared on the scene, people celebrated spring. They looked forward to the renewal of nature’s growth cycle. They hoped for new life and opportunities.

Normally, at this time of year, I’d join in various community celebrations. Afterwards, I’d look forward to meals and merriment. …

Some have likened the coronavirus pandemic to war. And yes, city, state, national, and international leadership must respond, protect citizens, and activate production of needed equipment.

Still, comparing fighting a pandemic to war is, as we Danes say, galimatias — it is gobbledygook and makes no sense.

A war has a tangible enemy based on differences in territorial, belief, or faith-based identities.

A war is fought to protect land, property, or in order to further ideology.

A war is brought on by conflict, disagreement, competition, or hostility.

If this is a war, it is one fought in host cells on…

— Five Reasons We Feel on Hold Until the Music Returns

Live music is therapy, it is joy. Music runs like blood in the veins of humanity.

Music has been essential to human wellbeing, togetherness, and strength since long before recorded history began.

The making and use of musical instruments date back at least 42,000 years.

For an equally long time, practices involving rhythmical instruments have been a fixture of human bonding and ceremony. Instruments made from dried gourds filled with small stones, pounding rocks, and drums made from animal skin stretched over wood.

The human voice singing, making sound…

While browsing social media yesterday, I read a statement about our current predicament. It can be summed up as follows:

“I don’t care if three million people die in the US, I just want to get on with it. Social distancing kills the economy.”

People who make such statements often start sentences with things like:

  • “They should just…”
  • “I have never….”
  • “I always said…”
  • “It is so easy to see why….”
  • “They just overcomplicate things by….”
  • “Mark my words, this is just because…”

Strong statements often appeal to us when we don’t know what to do.

Strong statements allow us…

Unemployment numbers are rising. This trend will continue for the foreseeable future. It is painful and stressful. It is scary. Many of us wake up in the middle of the night with our minds racing about how we will be able to meet our financial responsibilities.

For many of us, this is not a new experience.

We routinely wonder how we will be able to take care of those we love.

We routinely wonder how we will be able to take care of ourselves.

Added to it now, is societal uncertainty with the virus spreading and leaders waffling in response.

Underlying our predicament at the moment, is the fact that as before we had to self-isolate, we were already isolated in groups that are deeply suspicious of each other.

It is difficult to find common purpose and pull together as a group, when we for years have been telling ourselves and each other that we are playing on different teams.

Having leaders that encourage division, only fuels the fire.

To pull through difficult times as a society, feeling bonded together with a common purpose is essential.

According to Mirriam-Webster, morale is:

a: the mental and emotional condition (as of enthusiasm…

It is as if time crawled for the first seven days. Each day felt like a month.

As this new, restricted way of life becomes reality, the days are coming a bit faster. Life settles into a new routine. Dealing with the loss of used-to-be is still right there under the surface. I still think about what I would have been doing right now, if it wasn’t because of this shutdown. If only…

And those thoughts tell me that I am still dealing with loss. We all are.

At the same time, I am grateful that our governor shut down…

Marie Trout

Author “The Blues — Why it Still Hurts so Good,” artist manager. PhD Wisdom Studies. Contributor: The Daily Beast, The Bern Report, Classic Rock Blues Magazine.

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