A quite lovely article appears in The Buffalo News by Jeff Miers, describing his struggle with the degree to which the COVID pandemic has disrupted his lifestyle. It’s not just his leisure that’s affected; it is literally his entire life. Miers writes about music and the arts for the News, and with a beat like that, he’s required to be out in the city almost all the time, interacting with music and art and musicians and artists. This has been his life for decades, and now, all of a sudden, he’s been forced to…stay at home.
The Wife and I often comment that it’s strange how this particular pandemic has basically forced so many other people into our lifestyles: we don’t go out a lot at all, and when we do it’s mainly to eat someplace, so getting takeout is just fine with us. My trips out by myself tend to be solo trips to the library, or jaunts to a local park to walk The Dee-oh-gee in solitude. We simply don’t find ourselves often in situations that involve lots of people are in social situations. But our lifestyle isn’t the only lifestyle, and Mr. Miers (who is, by the way, quite a fine writer whose work I usually enjoy) had felt the pinch very keenly:
After months of telling myself that I was far too fortunate to demand such a luxury, I finally admitted that I needed some help, that the ways in which I warded off depression and anxiety in the past – all of them involving music – were no longer enough. I began seeing a mental health therapist, virtually. She immediately pointed out that, in addition to the difficult situation with my parents, I was also quite likely in a state of shock resulting from a core feature of my existence – the live music experience, which has occupied my time an average of five nights a week for 30 years – being ripped away. Allowing myself to admit this, and to mourn it, in a sense, has helped me greatly.
In the course of his article he notes how he discovered that his son’s girlfriend is actually the granddaughter of a noted jazz musician named Roosevelt Wardell. I found an album of Wardell’s on YouTube, and though I am no expert on jazz by any means, I greatly enjoyed it! This record is quite a compelling listen. You never know which direction art will take in reaching us. Some guy asks a girl out, introduces her to his parents; Dad turns out to be a local writer who mentions her grandfather in a newspaper article, and now I’m listening to a jazz record.
The wheel turns, man.
Here’s that album, by the way.