Mental Medicine in the Midst of Madness
Corona virus sucks! It’s heartbreaking when people die. I can scarcely watch the news coming out of Italy. People losing their jobs sucks. It means a crazy tension between hardship and hope. Social isolation is bad for some people; for the lonely, the elderly, those living in abuse. It just sucks.
It can be overwhelming. Going down the rabbit hole of despair however is not an option. We have to wipe hopelessness off the list of things to do.
I know we can’t just magically make unemployment, uncertainty and grief disappear. But we do need respite.
We do need to give our heart a break from heartbreak.
We need to mentally and spiritually pace ourselves through this global marathon.
Beauty is just the medicine. Some people have figured this out already. The folks in Wuhan figured this out early. during their Covid-19 shutdown. A cacophony of voices sang out from apartment blocks, unifying the isolated in uplifting songs. It might not be pretty but its still moving.
“We fly to beauty as an asylum from the terrors of infinite nature” Ralph Waldo Emerson, “The Poet”.
Music is medicine. The Italians of course knew the power of this medicine. Who else could have communal opera during Covid lockdown?
Then it just got professional. Witness the Colorado Symphony who played online together.
Timeless sounds as timely solace.
One morning last week on ABC classic radio, the host thought we could all do with a sing along and played the Hallelujah chorus. It made me smile to think I was singing my heart out at the same time as other other Australians in their living rooms.
OK, here is another sing-a-long, although you may want to just close your eyes and allow the spine tingling sounds of this choir singing “It Is Well With My Soul” soothe your tired soul.
Physically distant, spiritually close.
Poetry is medicine. Patrick Stewart is reading a Shakespeare sonnet each day online. Hellloooo! Patrick Stewart, his voice is like sweet, oozing honey. Be still my heart.
What a double dose of beauty! Soul drenching words read in a voice of velvet.
Mine eye hath play’d the painter and hath stell’d
Thy beauty’s form in table of my heart;
My body is the frame wherein ’tis held,
And perspective it is the painter’s art.
Big Will Sonnet 24
Other friends on Face Book are posting pictures of flowers and snow falling outside their window.
So when all gets a bit too much, prescribe yourself a big dose of beauty.
Need some more medicine- try these:
Play your favorite piece of music,
Read a beautiful piece of poetry (try Pablo Neruda),
dance and twirl,
Look at beautiful art. click here to virtually visit a famous art gallery
count the stars.
To get through this history altering event, take some advice from Anne Herbert in her article called “Handy Tips On How To Behave At The Death of the World” (1) :
Practice random kindness and senseless acts of beauty.
by Elissa Macpherson
lover of Jesus, glitter, justice.