Why You Should Whisper When Crisis Strikes
Welcome to my first newsletter!
Normally I would provide more links and fewer thoughts, but since this is my first newsletter… I wanted to introduce you to my way of speaking. Just in case you wanted to unsubscribe or proclaim your undying love to me. Either is fine.
Most articles online are about what to do with all the extra free time we supposedly have during the quarantine. Meanwhile, I’ve gotten even busier.
If you’re trying to be productive, here the 5 things that have helped me:
Dressing up and looking good — I’m not wearing suits or anything just clothes that make me look and feel good. Since I started “dressing for work”, my productivity shot through the roof. Dressing down for sleep also leads to better sleep. Sounds weird I know, but try it out.
Music dance breaks —When you work from home, the first thing to go are breaks (stress reading Covid19 news doesn’t count). Listening to music and dancing is so great for me. It's the best stress relief and I can pretend like I’m getting some of that good ol’ cardio in. Just make sure your zoom camera isn’t still on (been there).
A place for work and a place for play — I’ve mostly kept my same work schedule. When I have to work, I go to my work desk and when I’m trying to chill I chill at my chill place. It’s a fast commute, and I’m still making use of location-based-productivity.
Exercise + Sleep + Eat Healthy — Obvious, but must be said. It helps the immune system too.
Useful worry times —This is when you worry for useful reasons (planning ahead and making sure procedures are in place to keep yourself safe). The other times you unplug from the news about coronavirus. Before doing this, I was spending all my time reading the news and unproductively worrying. This left me feeling down. I didn’t want to eat well, exercise, or do anything productive. Super no bueno.
TLDR (Too Lazy, Didn’t Read):
Dress, shave, and groom. Keep the same schedule by choosing a place for work and a place for play. Worry usefully during certain times and stay healthy. Oh, and take breaks. Lots of breaks. Preferably a few with dancing.
Creative & Human
This week I asked myself a deceptively simple question: Why write?
What good can we offer the world in a time of crisis?
Even if I happen to write something good…It’ll be drowned out in the overwhelming noise of the world. It won’t do anything. It won’t help.
Then, I came across this amazing quote:
James Fenton, in An Introduction to English Poetry, puts forth the idea that poetry happens when one raises their voice. I agree, but I also believe that poetry happens when one lowers their voice. In the first instance, the raised voice, we have the street hawkers, the singers, the storytellers, the priests — anyone who wants to be heard over the din — but in the second we include the tellers of secrets, the lovers, the password keepers — all those who want to be heard beneath the din, not by the din itself but by one singular other who is part of the din, as when in the middle of a concert we lean to the person next to us and cup our hand around our mouth, forming a private amphitheater, a concert within a concert, connecting ourselves to one the way the concert is connecting itself to everyone. - Mary Ruefle, Madness Rack and Honey (emphasis mine)
I believe in stories, I believe in conversations, I believe in reading and being read.
During difficult times, it’s stories that make me feel comforted. It’s stories that inspire me to keep going. My favorites are ones where I have to lean in closer.
I love that quiet throaty voice when somebody is about to get vulnerable.
I love that in writing too.
I realized great whispers do something very important. They connect us, inspire us, and remind us of a very important fact. That though we all have our little tribes, at the end of the day, our tribes are just one big one.
At the end of the day, we’re human.
And these types of whispers can be done by anyone. In fact, they must be done by you. Dear reader, WE are responsible for whispering a better world into existence.
Whisper to your friends, to your families, to your fans. Whisper through writing, video, and smiles.
Although it doesn’t feel like it, a crisis is when whispering is most important. It’s during the crisis and right after it that we choose how we want to be changed. Who we want to be?
Even if we’re lucky, we won’t be. There will be many who will die and we will have permanent scars in our psyches.
We have to ask ourselves knowing that’s the best of it, who do we want to be in a post-corona world?
The library is a whispering post. You don't need to take a book off a shelf to know there is a voice inside that is waiting to speak to you, and behind that was someone who truly believed that if he or she spoke, someone would listen. It was that affirmation that always amazed me. Even the oddest, most peculiar book was written with that kind of courage -- the writer's belief that someone would find his or her book important to read. I was struck by how precious and foolish and brave that belief is, and how necessary, and how full of hope - Susan Orlean, The Library Book
Maybe it’s precious and foolish, but I believe in whispers. And I don’t know about you, but that gives me hope.
Hopefully, together, we can whisper into existence a better, more connected, hopeful world.
I’ll end with this quote:
We are all whispering in a tin can on a string, but we are heard, so we whisper the message into the next tin can and the next string. - Susan Orlean, The Library Book
This is my little whisper to you.
I hope you pass it along in your voice to the next tin can.
In the meantime, I’ll work on my next whisper. Coming soon to an inbox near you.
See you then my fellow lazies. Stay safe.