Our Daily Breather is a series where we ask writers and artists to recommend one thing that's helping them get through the days of isolation during the coronavirus pandemic. This entry concludes our series; look out next week for some roundups of favorite practices that emerged over three months of asking artists and writers how they've been coping.
Who: Bobby Bare
Where: Hendersonville, Tenn.
Recommendation: Taking it day by day
"Daddy what if the wind stopped blowin', what would happen then?
If the wind stopped blowin' then the land would be dry
And your boat wouldn't sail son and your kite wouldn't fly
And the grass would see your troubles and she'd tell the wind
And the wind would start blowin' again"
In 1973, I released a song called "Daddy What If." It was a song written by my friend Shel Silverstein. Shel had the perfect way with words and could teach both adults and children something new about life in everything he wrote. Whether it was a song or a poem, he offered a unique perspective that brought comfort and understanding in every rhyming line.
In the middle of this quarantine, I released an album called Great American Saturday Night. It is a collection of songs written by Shel that I recorded many years ago. One of the songs on the album, "Someone to Talk To" goes, "Now my minds been wondering, been sailing so high / and the things I've been seein', Lord, they've got me so scared / and I've gotta find someone to talk to." We all need someone to talk to these days. I've been thinking about Shel a lot during this pandemic. Thinking about what his opinions on the current state of the world would be. And wishing I could talk with him; I could certainly use his insight and hope right now.
At this point in my life, my mind wanders to the younger generations. The children whose school years have been cut short, who cannot spend time with their friends and whose inquisitive minds, already naturally full of questions, are forced to think and live through a period of time that many adults have never experienced before. Those of my generation have lived through World War II, and we've experienced periods of global hardship. However, not since the 1918 flu has there been a pandemic of this magnitude. It is truly a new normal for most of us. And so I've been feeling for the parents. Those worried about their jobs, and keeping their families safe and healthy throughout a time that's so uncertain. And to the parents who have to calm and answer their children's questions, when they themselves have so many questions and concerns.
During quarantine, I've been mostly staying home. It's been a time of reflection for me. Time to listen to music and remember old friends. But I know many don't have that luxury. For many this is a time of hardship, and worry. The thing I've learned about this period of time is that pandemics affect everyone in some way. But while there are lots of struggles that lay before so many, both now and in the future, there are also so many things we can learn from this pandemic and apply in our lives moving forward. It has taught us the importance of conversations and family time, communication with friends and coworkers and helping out our neighbors and communities.
And while we don't know what lies ahead right now, I'd say we never truly do in life. We always have a choice, every day, to either live in fear of what might be, or take it day by day. We can continue to help our friends and neighbors, we can love our families and we can get through this all together. Right now, it's easy to feel like little kids, worried about what might happen if the wind stops blowing, our kites stop flying and our boats can't sail. But know that your family, your friends, your neighbors and I will see your troubles, and together we'll all tell the wind to start blowing again.
Bobby Bare's latest album is Great American Saturday Night.
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