How’s life after Covid? Same as before?Uncategorized
A despatch from our occasional contributor, violinist Anthea Kreston:
Our Pandemic Year. Death, uncertain illness, social injustice, terrifying racism, an earth on the brink. How each of us has made it is a puzzle of such determination, depression, hope and disappointment. But here we are. And what now? What do we make of this soup of continuing disparate tragedies – only the historians a century into the future will give this time its proper place in history.
True confession: I have had quite a wonderful year. Is it even ok that I say this, I wonder? I feel guilty even thinking it. Lucky in love, location, vocation, finances and family. Luck and careful planning – these gave me a net of safety – even as the world seemed to collapse.
And now – how can we say we see the light at the end of the tunnel? For some of us, we do – and as we do, what kind of life can we craft for ourselves going forward? What priorities, what fundamentals of a life of a musician now seem less attractive – more a shell of perceived fulfillment and happiness than actual, tangible goodness for our fragile, short lives. What does matter, in the end?
Do we want to start the crazy busyness again – the endless hours of practice, rehearsal and travel, the stress of concerts and exhaustion of waking up to do it all over again the next day, all the while making arrangements for someone else to take care of our families for us, or wishing we had the time to find a family to be a part of or to create?
Maybe I am saying this because I have found such a snuggly, warm and cosy happiness in my own home. Or am I saying it because deep down, I don’t think I can ever have the kind of successes I once enjoyed – is classical music as we know it over? Am I too old, not good enough for the tightened and more competitive music industry that will be the future? Has classical music fundamentally changed?
I loved seeing everyone on zoom in their sweatpants this year, playing in their messy living rooms and hearing random life noises in the background. Is it possible that we have turned a full circle, and the music that was composed for friends in the living room, to be played by a hodgepodge of more and less able musicians, with a beverage or two under our belts, can be our new norm?
For me, I look forward to the occasional zesty enterprise – judging international competitions in beautiful locations, playing concerts with dear friends who make me laugh, reading quartets in my garden between the tomatoes and strawberries, hugging my children, kissing my husband, learning about and fighting for justice and a healthy planet as best as I can, and having a house filled with good food and laughter.