During the long winter did you keep envisioning this spring day? The weather would warm, the vaccine would spread, and you would begin to breathe more deeply. You'd gather safely with a few treasured people and even hug after being fully vaccinated.
Then we'd close this difficult, year-long chapter and move on…
But reality is painting a different picture. The “normal” we seek has forever changed, and we don’t just pick up where we left off.
No matter your unique circumstances, everyone suffered losses this past year. Everyone knows someone(s) who died of Covid. Everyone had challenging, soul-searching moments in isolation, missing physical contact and community. Everyone experienced the cancellations of anticipated events. Some lost jobs, businesses and experienced financial instability. Some bore the life-threatening stress of caring for others with Covid. We all watched in horror as the California wildfires raged, the Capitol was sieged, and George Floyd was killed. We all lived through bitterly divided elections and feared an invisible virus.
The New York Times recently published a collection of anecdotes entitled “Who Are We Now" and an Opinion by David Brooks called “How Covid Can Change Your Personality”. Has Covid soul-searching also brought you to a new place?
Rabbi Steve Leder counsels us in More Beautiful Than Before: How Suffering Transforms Us to confront our losses with honesty and move through our pain to seek wisdom. This is not simply a shiny, everything-works-out-perfectly-in-the-end sentiment. In my own life I eventually found my way through trials with introspection, resilience, connection, full-on grief, and patience.
One day last summer I quickly crossed the street to avoid an oncoming walker and realized I had become accustomed to this knee jerk, “anti-social” action. I wondered about the long-term effects of this practice, of masks, of isolation.
When I returned home from that walk, I began writing “Let Us Not Close Our Hearts”. I’m delighted to share a solo version I recorded in the hallway of Weights and Measures Studio in Kansas City.
As we gradually make our way into a life after this pandemic, let’s “see our strength, trust our ties” and hold onto ways we have been transformed.
I look forward to singing with you.
P.S. “Let Us Not Close Our Hearts” will be on my new album scheduled for a 2021 release.
Joy Zimmerman, a soulful singer/songwriter, dives into the everyday and the extraordinary. Known for compelling vocals and captivating performances, Joy is a touring musician based in Kansas City. Her forthcoming album, The Canvas Before Us, is an acoustic reinvention and her seventh studio album. joyzimmermanmusic.com