6 months

Today I learned that my August concerts have been cancelled. This was devastating to me, and I spent a lot of time by myself at the park.

Southeast view from my neighborhood park

I was looking forward to the possibility of working in August, hanging on to hope for the culmination of a project that has been in the works for months. Now it’s gone. Assuming that my first September concert is still a go (and that’s a big question) I will not have conducted for six months. I haven’t not conducted for this long since…I started conducting, when I was 17, decades ago.

I don’t know what this absence will feel like as the months pass (it’s already been 2), or what it will feel like when I finally work again. There’s a physical ease that I slip into when I’m conducting regularly, and to be in a situation in which I’m going months and months without being in that physical and psychological space is deeply upsetting.

We’re all going through adjustments of expectations, of dealing with the world around us in new and uncomfortable ways, of coping with the enormous changes that have occurred. And I remind myself of that daily. But as much as I intellectually appreciate the truth of everyone’s challenges, I can’t help but feel like I’ve had the wind knocked out of me again, and it’s hard not to be deeply upset and profoundly depressed.

What kind of reactions do you have to disappointment and things not going as planned?

My task: record a bunch of promotional spots for an upcoming special broadcast in Minneapolis which will include a virtual project I’ve been working on. Even as I cope with the depression of not performing, I’ve been trying to keep engaged with music and with the world. Not always easy to do, but (done!)

7 thoughts on “6 months

  1. I can’t imagine how hard this must be for you. I write professionally so this time is made for me — at least in that way. I’d go nuts if I had to take months away. You have my sympathy!


    1. chefdorch says:

      Thanks for your support! Yes, it’s really kind of insanity-inducing and I’m not yet sure what to do with myself…


  2. Wayne Zelenak says:

    Sarah, In previous blogs of your Coronavirus Diary, we discussed the stressors that trigger chronic anxiety which eventually lead to uncontrollable panic attacks and a total break down both mentally and physically; resulting in a feeling of hopelessness and despair. The dreadful news each day becomes a drip, like a leaky faucet in the darkness of night, that haunts and torments in mental anguish each hour like scenes from a draconian horror movie.

    The news isn’t just about the pandemic, it’s about our future in the wake of the pandemic, and assessing the damage to the global economy, environment, and food chain. Playing sports in high school, I can relate to having the wind knocked out of you as you gasp for air.

    Living in these challenging times of uncertainty, we all have our narrative of how our lives have dramatically changed over the last few months. The daily death toll of the pandemic reminds me of the news media with live images from the battlefront in the war in Viet Nam. We’ve already surpassed the death statistics of that era.

    I admire your creative stamina in launching The Musical Mystery, the virtual projects in Minneapolis, and being engaged with the music of the world. I share your passion for music and art which has helped me focus on the beauty of the world regardless of our changing state of affairs…


    1. chefdorch says:

      A very apt description of negative news like a leaky faucet. Eventually it causes our internal buckets to overflow, unless we have ways to address the daily drip.


  3. I’m in Florida. Usually, around this time, I start hanging out at the beach. Although our beaches are open, we’re only allowed to go for exercise, not for lounging, so I’m not quite sure what I’ll be doing just yet. It seems like such a minor thing to complain about, but it’s a major part of my summer relaxation schedule. So, to answer your question…I’m not sure yet.


    1. chefdorch says:

      That will definitely be a hard one to navigate, and as someone who grew up in Hawaii I definitely know the importance of beach time for relaxation.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. “What kind of reactions do you have to disappointment and things not going as planned?”
    I must accept it and say to myself there will be some light shining at the end of this tunnel one day.
    The wisdom of hope.


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