Inside I’ll sing

So this song was what it took to get me back to writing in this blog. This song and the current situation, that is.

In this ongoing coronavirus crisis, so many people have lost so much, enterprises had to go out of business, cultural events were canceled, bars and restaurants are closed and many people lost their jobs, let alone the social distancing measures that forced many of those who are alone a lot anyway into isolation – with an end being nowhere in sight.

I am one of these people – being a freelancer myself I haven’t been able to work for weeks now. And since I belong to the high-risk group, I have to be particularly cautious. No one is able to tell me when – or if at all this year – I will be able to go back to work. And back to my usual lifestyle.
As no one is able to tell us when we can all go back to a “new normal”.

And with losing all that – my job, which is my business, connecting with close ones, traveling, concerts and festivals… came an emptiness that slowly creeped up inside of me. What am I if I’m not contributing to society by working and making money?
And how to handle this isolation, this total lack of closeness?
Without all those things that made me, well, ME, what is left of me? Who am I in this crisis?

But a bird’s still a bird without its wings

I was strangely touched by this particular verse in that song Spotify recommended to me just today. And maybe this is what many people need to hear in this crisis and this mandatory standstill.

Hearing the song I knew: You are still you. And that light still shines within you.

If I can’t take flight, then inside I’ll sing

I’ve been wondering if, maybe, this is a time to find a new outlet for that light. To find new ways to shine our light and to contribute.

And why not?
When everything is lost, everything is possible too.
So why not relax, at least a bit, and see what comes next? Open a few new doors. And on the days on which it seems that there just aren’t any new doors to open…stay patient.

And know that

While my hopes run dry, my strength remains*

*Quotes taken from the song "Inside I'll sing" by Shards & Isolation Choir.

Even if I wanted to

So here I am, back from New York.

The ten days I spent there were so amazingly rich that, looking back, it feels like I have been away a month.

So here I am, in Berlin again. And yet, still in New York. And so I have spent my first week back in my old life trying to find my way back into it. After experiencing this feeling of ultimate freedom, happiness and anything being possible so intensely for those ten days I suddenly found it hard to confine myself again, to all the tasks and to dos and duties, which were still here, pending in the air and impatiently waiting for me to tackle them. Without me having the slightest idea where to start and what to do next to achieve…well…everything. To at least start moving again and resuming my life. And to find pleasure in the things I so loved again.

And so, panic took over. That reassuring part of me that always knows that life will go on and phases such as the one I am in right now will pass eventually suddenly seemed to be lost in the depths of my fears and doubts. And everyone around me, all my friends and my role models, seemed to be successful with such ease, while I could not even figure out my next step. Let alone follow suit. And while I stood there being paralyzed, my mind went havoc in its search for possible solutions. Which all did not seem to fit. So, in the end, this only added to this grim feeling of helplessnes.

Not being able to make sense of my life I felt that, maybe, I did not make sense. And that maybe I, with all my talents and gifts, my ideas and dreams, just did not fit in with this world.

Needless to say, no matching song found me. This seemed to hold true even for the Lollapalooza Festival, which took place in Berlin for the first time and which I attended with my friends. In fact, the first day turned out to be a series of mishaps leading to my friends and me missing most of the first part and then losing each other without any hope of finding each other again in the crowd.

And when things clearly could not feel any more disastrous – after spending half of the day on my own, frantically writing text messages which did no get out, after actually being peed on by a drunk guy who missed the bottle in which he tried to relieve himself, and while being harrassed by another drunk guy with the worst cockney English I have ever heard  – the final act saved my day.

I remembered loving this song a couple of years ago. And tuned in with the chorus and started singing along just like that. My world went a little brighter. The drunk guy was gone. And at that moment I just knew that life, however, would go on and the wheel would start turning again eventually.

I am aware that this is actually a song on gay love. But I am sure that Macklemore would not mind me borrowing it. After all, the central message, as I understand it, is this: that you are who you are and that you are perfect the way you are. No changing required.

So on that very evening, that song reminded me that I and my way of being do make sense. And that I would not be here like I am if I was not meant to be. Even if sometimes I feel like I do not fit in with this society. And even if I do not feel able to follow my friends’ suit. Since they all have their way and I have my own. Which, I am sure, will open up eventually and show me the next step to take.

As that quote by Shams Tabrizi, that close friend of Rumi says, which, fittingly, I found on Facebook today:

“Whatever happens to you, don’t fall in despair. Even if all the doors are closed, a secret path will be there for you that no one knows. You can’t see it yet but so many paradises are at the end of this path. Be grateful! It is easy to thank after obtaining what you want, thank before having what you want.”

So this has been my hymn for the past few days. Which keeps assuring me that, in the end, things will start moving again. And for the moment, this is enough to keep me going.

Because I can’t change, even if I tried. Or even if I wanted to.

(And I don’t want to anyway 🙂 )