I’ve been sitting here, wracking my brain in a vain attempt to come up with something positive and uplifting to write. I’m awful at that sort of thing. So, I’m just going to be me, and maybe something will resonate with somebody reading. Or not. Either way is fine.
So, what’s going on at Casa Rivera lately? Well, my county is on a shelter-in-place as of 5pm today. I can’t say I’m happy about that. I know some find solace in definitive decisions and see it as progress towards the end. For me, I find it unsettling. The necessity is obvious, and don’t I disagree with the process – but it is still a little unsettling to be told not to leave your property unless absolutely necessary. Some people in my surrounding area say we shouldn’t go outside, which – if you live in an apartment complex or the city – I guess I understand. I live in a rural area surrounded by farms and vineyards. Life is very different here, and the circumstances are simply not the same. Animals don’t stop eating just because there’s a virus (or even a national holiday!), and the land still needs worked. Things do not, and can not, just stop because the local government wants you to shelter in place. That might be hard to understand unless you have lived in the country before. I sure didn’t get it before moving last year.
But what about music? It’s so tough seeing every last event cancelled or postponed, isn’t it? The very things that kept us going last week or the week before are things that seem so distant now. It is as though we are each having our entire lives reset. Maybe we needed that, I’m not really sure – but here it is. Vegas is basically closed, so is Los Angeles and San Francisco. Bars and restaurants are closed all over the place. We’re having to relearn how to relax, and find new ways to unwind. It isn’t easy.
There have been a few bands that have done some sort of streamed concert – The Dropkick Murphy’s did one (sans live audience!) on St. Patrick’s Day. Other, more local bands have done also streamed – I haven’t caught an entire concert yet, but I suspect that as time goes on, I might! I’ve seen a few fans ask Duran Duran to do one, or to release snippets of their music from the studio, or to even just do a video to say hi. Sure, I’d love all of those things too, but I suspect that just like the rest of us, they’re trying to get used to these changes. The world has turned upside down in just a few weeks. I don’t know about you, but I almost hate the idea of looking at my phone or the computer in the morning these days. Every day seems worse than the one before. It’s exhausting to the point where I’d almost rather not know. Maybe you feel the same.
I know that when I do inevitably venture online, I look for those small signs that life isn’t so bad, even while in quarantine or isolation. Seeing posts from my friends, music from my favorite band, or even a short tweet from Simon makes me feel a little better. I’ve seen others almost respond angrily as many have debated albeit mundane subjects such as “Where does (the song) Palomino take you?” The feelings being that perhaps now is not the time for such discussion while globally, people are frightened for their lives.
Point taken. I want to be respectful to those who are frightened and are perhaps in very different and even more stressful situations than I am. We all use the internet for different reasons though, and just as one person might go to Twitter for informative purposes, I go there for escape. Sometimes, I just have to shut off my television and stop watching the news because it doesn’t help – I don’t need to know that the coronavirus cases have doubled overnight, for example. I have to focus on what is right here, right now. That doesn’t make me right, though. We each employ the coping mechanisms that work. Just the other day I was a witness on a private group message where one person was absolutely appalled by others who were discussing the Hyde Park show, favorite band members, and some other fairly innocuous details. The person in question couldn’t believe there would be such silly discussion during this time where so many are dying. I can understand that feeling. We’re all scared. We all find ways to cope.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that there isn’t any one way to handle this stuff. We have to cut one another some slack, some understanding, and learn to scroll on if something is bothering or triggering. We’re all kind of stuck at the moment. Now isn’t the time to attack someone for not following the ideals you may personally hold dear for social (online) engagement during this crisis. Levity is important, as is respect and kindness. It is difficult to find that balance, but it isn’t impossible. Empathy and sympathy are things that even I struggle with from time to time – and so this serves even as my own reminder that not everyone lives under the same circumstances as I do right now. Be kind.