Doesn't it seem fitting that Ode To Joy has become a global anthem in this time of virus?
Any rendition heals, but there is something "responsive" and in the moment in the Rotterdam Philharmonic styling, at home, but together, virtually.
Isolation perhaps, socially distanced, life interrupted, but in community.
My heart swells when we fragile and even frightened humans step onto balconies, porches, decks, or open our windows to yell, sing, ring bells, beat pans, applaud and cheer our medical providers. We cannot see the enemy, but we can defy its terror and rouse the lion in our human spirit and soothe our souls.
We have imposed barriers in our one time convenient lives, we have placed obstacles to the common rhythms and familiar patterns. Now we wonder if perhaps we have taken so much for granted.
I was lamenting how I miss the sound of Jim Nantz and the tumult of an emphatic basketball arena. I feel cheated that I can't see the jibes and joy of Greg Gumble, Clark Kellogg, Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith. And that started me on a trail of the sounds we are missing.
The chatter at Lily's coffee deck, my circle of chatterers and debaters, the joy of children at play drifting up the ridge from the grammar school playground, the clang, beeps and buzz of the big box and grocery store, live music wafting in from clubs, the hostess greeting or the chime of wine glasses toasting, the conversations in parking lots, the vibe of a tasting room, the sound of traffic even, and the applause of a concert crowd.
I hope we are making more calls. It's a way to care, to check up, and just enjoy someone's company, even if distant. My friend Frank and I were sharing how we've been looking for old basketball games or sports events on the cable. He's reading a Sports Illustrated anthology of great moments.
In a large, large way, the field of competition, all sports, are a major element in the sound score of lives. How many Saturday or Sunday afternoons did that mellow "Whoa, Nellie..." of Keith Jackson or Dick Enberg's "Oh My..." serve as a gentle assurance that all was well with the world.
So, in the interim, we have replays, but there is something "normalizing" in hearing Al Michaels, or Bob Costas, and others. Normalizing like a friend complaining about the freeway traffic, or the sound of airplanes, or even the car with loud speakers in the next lane.
Normal. Normal life has more sounds, more sub conscious cues that we are well.
As I was mulling this, Scott Simon of NPR must have been having smiliar withdrawal. On his March 28 Weekend edition, he took it on with the inimitable Hank Azaria.
Normal is on the other side of the virus and our social distanced restrictions. Getting there, getting through this is so much easier than what our parents or grand parents faced in the Spanish Influenza. Our cyber, wireless, social media world, helps us to remain in community. If each send, or text, or photo, or share could emit a sound lifted to the spheres, it would probably sound like an Ode to Joy.
Stay well. See you down the trail.