All very well to write cheerfully that “We shall overcome.” Right now, I am overcome. Watching the hundreds of thousands protesting in the States, reading an article on FB that a teacher was overheard telling children their parents would be deported and they would become foster children, then hearing that Trump has confirmed he will begin the process of deportation.
And then listening to and reading about the death of that fine, gentle man, Leonard Cohen, the opposite of Trump and what he represents – how Cohen’s death, this very week, brings to the fore an image of the world as it could be, as it should be, a world of art and poetry, kindness, thoughtfulness, honour and grace – and then we will turn on the TV news or open the newspaper and fall into a pit of vileness, greed, prejudice, indifference.
So I sat at the piano to play. It’s the first time playing has been a comfort. I am still a beginner and yet there is music in the fingers. I have almost mastered, clumsily, the first page of the Moonlight Sonata and am progressing to the second, and as I played, I wept that there is such music in the world, such composers and musicians, at the same time as such blind, violent, stupid men.
I guess there will be a lot of weeping in the weeks and months to come. We will turn to each other, and to music – to the music of Leonard Cohen, among others – for comfort.