Like a lot of people, these last few weeks have been challenging. I've been working from home for years, so California's stay-at-home order hasn't affected my work all that much, but I do find myself battling a constant anxiety. I'm an optimist by nature, but these last few weeks have stretched that belief to its limits and every day I've found myself flailing in a sea of uncertainty while a thick blanket of brain fog smothers out the sun.
All of that put me in the perfect head-space for this article from the Guardian. I needed an optimism booster shot and I found it. A story of six boys who set out on an ill-fated journey in 1965. Sounds super uplifting right?
No one noticed the small craft leaving the harbour that evening. Skies were fair; only a mild breeze ruffled the calm sea. But that night the boys made a grave error. They fell asleep. A few hours later they awoke to water crashing down over their heads.
The full article is definitely worth a read. It follows a similar plot to the Lord of the Flies, except with the exact opposite conclusion. In this story, the boys are inherently good.
I won't spoil how, but all six kids are eventually rescued (after 15 months) and are reunited with their families. It's a great story, but one passage stood out to me more than any other:
Kolo fashioned a makeshift guitar from a piece of driftwood, half a coconut shell and six steel wires salvaged from their wrecked boat – an instrument Peter has kept all these years – and played it to help lift their spirits.
In dark times we turn to things that bring us together. For many, that thing is music. I don't, for a second, want to re-live what those boys went through, but it makes me extremely happy to know that even in their darkest times they turned to one of mankind's oldest remedies to lift their spirits.
We can't gather in crowds right now, but music can still help us get through this crisis together. We just need to be creative with how we play it.