Two weeks ago, I was searching for toney ways to keep us entertained at night.
Enough of Tiger King! Bring on King Lear!
Today, I’m drowning in culture. Especially the kind where I have to concentrate for longer than a minute, like The Ring Cycle, The Messiah and Swan Lake, and of course anything by Shakespeare. (Did I tell you it’s his 456th birthday tomorrow? Right, I did.)
Because while I often plead guilty to having the attention span of a gnat, I now have the focus of a nano-gnat. The torrent of online content has swept away any ability to discriminate between an Amber Alert and a day-long Zoom meeting.
So it was that last night two links arrived in my inbox with urgings from their senders to “See this now!”
I’m now five weeks into getting these kinds of e-mails, so I usually just wait a couple of hours, then Reply with “Amazing!! Thanks for sending!!!” No need to actually open the links.
But I must have been distracted from my distraction because I clicked on both of them, and now I’d like you to do the same.
The first epitomizes how you should convey hard facts and big changes in a time of crisis. I clicked on expecting to hear Jacinda Ardern or Queen Elizabeth. But it wasn’t a speech. It’s a gauzy video where never is heard one single word. Even more shocking, it’s from an airline based in Dubai, Emirates Air. In one brief minute, it says “Here’s what we’re doing for you now” and “Here’s what air travel will look like everywhere.” So please, take that minute now and see how COVID-19 could reshape air travel even more than 9/11 did.
The second link is worlds away from the cool professionalism of the Emiratis. It’s not about facts, but feelings. Great weeping gobs of them. But this video is different from all those others we’ve been told to “See now!” Because it’s music and poetry and moving pictures whose very ordinariness catches us off guard. It asks a question most of us keep buried far down: “Do you think when this will all end, will we love more?” Here it is now.
Best of all, despite their wildly different everythings, both of these videos give us hope we’ll reach the same safe place together.
“And damn, we’ll feel good again….”