Friday, April 3, 2020

Ten Thousand Sorrows, Ten Thousand Joys

Like everyone else, I am sheltering in place. Because I have taught classes online for years, I have been fortunate to not experience much disruption in my classes. However, as a writer, it has been more challenging to make my art during this time of anxiety-producing calamity and deluge of bad news.

While staying informed is a necessity to surviving the crisis, it becomes all too easy to become overwhelmed by it. To be swept away by it. To be defeated by the despair of it.

“The arts are … a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.” Kurt Vonnegut, A Man Without a Country
Ashley Wolff

The light still shining amid all the darkness, however, is the harboring community of writers and artists that share my space. Remember the Taoist principle, noted by Chuang Tzu, “When you open your heart, you get life’s ten thousand sorrows, and ten thousand joys.” 

Over these many weeks, with all the ten thousand sorrows we’ve experienced as a nation and world community, many artists – writers, illustrators, storytellers, musicians, editors, librarians, teachers, and more – have started to share their art in all its many forms. And in so doing, they became the ten thousand joys, the candles of light amid the dark night.

Illustrator Ashley Wolff and her incomparable Rufus reminded everyone in every state to Be Strong.

Storyteller Kevin O’Malley invited those in his Facebook sphere to send him ideas, whether about their favorite people or their favorite things, and he responded to making every wish come true!

Kevin O'Malley
Shevi Arnold created the Facebook public group, Social Distancing Society, now approaching 1.8 K members, all sharing laughs, music, arts, videos – all a reminder that we are in this together! Do check it out!

Book Riot offers a list of children authors posting videos of reading their books and offering activities for their young audiences. Mary Cadden at USA TODAY highlights Storyline Online, a children's literary website featuring videos of actors reading children’s books alongside produced illustrations. Each book has a recommended grade level and activity guides. Among the readers: Betty White reading “Harry the Dirty Dog,” author Jannell Cannon reading her book “Stellaluna” and Rose Byrne reading “The Tale of Peter Rabbit.” Betty White!!!

O! And look at this treat! Master Storyteller Eric Kimmel reads folktales from around the world!

There's more, it turns out. My FB friend Danny Alderman serenades a slew of us with oldies but goodies weekly.  Check out his Facebook page, Danny and Kim and Friends for more videos and activities.

As Nicole Fichera, in her article “Art in Times of Crisis,” reminds us that “When we shift our attention away from fear, art will be waiting for us.”

       “Art brings our mind into balance.” -- Nicole Fichera

Share your favorite videos and inspirations, whatever it may be. Let's add to the ten thousand joys that bring light in this time of darkness! 

--Bobbi Miller

About the photo: One of my favorite inspirations, Granddaughter decorates the front window with her favorite things, so if you walk by the house, you'll smile.


JoAnn Early Macken said...

Thank you for bringing more joy! xox

Ashley said...

Thanks for this Bobbi! Proud to be included.

Melodye said...

This inspires and affirms the best in all of us. Thank you, Bobbi, for bringing the light.

Carmela Martino said...

Thanks, Bobbi, for sharing these wonderful resources!

Yvonne Ventresca said...

Thanks for sharing!

jan godown annino said...

Great finds & links - a gift to us & for us to gift.
Appreciations for the uplift.

Esther Hershenhorn said...

Oh, thank you for this post, Bobbi.
It's one of the then thousand Joys you referenced. :)
Your Fan Esther

Bobbi Miller said...

Thank YOU, everyone, for taking a moment to stop by. I am overwhelmed with your kind words! XOXOX

Mary Ann Rodman said...

Bobbi--Thanks for the great links! And how can I get a copy of that Ashley Wolff "Georgia Strong" image? Write strong, Mary Ann

April Halprin Wayland said...

Great post, Bobbi ❤️