Grieving for a changed world

While I haven't studied the stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance), I have been prompted to consider how they make sense of the range of responses I see from people discussing the swift social changes since Covid-19 became a worldwide phenomenon.

I was just reading an interview with sound artist Maria Chávez and thought I'd share this part:
"I always thought field recording was just an audio snapshot, really. Now, taking the audio snapshot and adapting it to our present moment – who knew our times [would] so drastically [change] in a matter of two weeks. And my god, all of these field recordings that we’ve all been doing for the past 20-30 years, especially as the hand-held recorders got more and more accessible for the general public – I used to think of it all as, What are we going to do with all this stuff? It’s just trash, everybody’s just recording field recordings. I’d always roll my eyes. Now I’m like, You’re such an idiot. Thank god everybody was recording our world because it’s gone. 
"Concerts and live events will never be the same even if they can. You know what I mean? Now that I’ve changed my mind about all of these ridiculous amounts of recording, I think somehow we all knew. That we were privileged in some way to live in this world. Everybody I knew that was really into field recordings was just frantic – once they got hooked on it, it was like a rabbit hole. Now I just feel like, My god, we’re so lucky. Now we need to make a library of everything that everyone has done and it’ll be audible postcards of our past that we’ll never be able to hear again."

I'm not so sentimental about capturing concerts and live events, because so often they reinforce the feeling that one had to be there.

As a student of history I can see their value in providing a sense of what it is like to stand in a crowd, although the proximity effect of most microphones will likely make many listeners wonder how one endured the noises from nearby strangers.

However, like those recordings, the sentimentality for something that's both close and distant seems analogous with the experiences many are now sharing.

The recent disruptions to our lives by Covid-19 is in stark contrast to the relatively carefree experiences of only a few months earlier.

Like many others I have been going through the disappointment of re-evaluating my plans for the year and recognising it's possible some events will never be the same again.

It's a mild expression of depression but I'm sad that I can't imagine I'll be stripping off and brushing shoulders with people running around a burning effigy anytime in the near future, for example.

Yesterday I read a profile of the actor Val Kilmer that was remarkable how it illustrated a journalist grappling with uncertainties.

I found the piece fascinating for the way the article moves from trying to reconcile the actor's philosophy about illness, to trying to make sense of a series of profound changes in the journalist's life.

We're all making sense of living during a pandemic and this week I'm digging into how that manifests in creative pursuits.

One outcome for my music-making was recognising a piece I'd been looking forward to sharing had been set aside until things settle.

Cities and Memory founder Stuart Fowkes replied to my inquiry about the Future Cities project:
"Future Cities is delayed due to the ongoing destruction of all that our cities previously stood for! Will release that one later in the year!"
I expect it's going to be a while before those futures feel possible again!

In the meantime, I wonder if my opportunity to record a sense of the anxiety of visiting the supermarket has passed.

This week I'm surprised how quickly people have returned to what was normal, as I navigated the groups conversing in the aisles.

I also noticed the regular messages about social-distancing that would interrupt the in-store music have stopped.

It's both a relief and a cause for concern that so many in my community have moved on from practising the measures designed to limit the spread of Covid-19.

Maybe it's denial?