Turning Poison into Medicine

Like many of you, the unprecedented health emergency that has turned our lives upside-down has led me to feel distracted, disconnected, and disoriented. Like drummers reading from separate musical scores, I feel out of rhythm, out of sync. Normal, familiar routines and patterns have been replaced by uncertainty and anxiety. Simply going to the grocery store is a surreal experience with everyone in their masks and gloves. Life these days feels like a David Lynch movie.

I’ve been searching for inspiration and encouragement to stay optimistic and engaged. Not in the words of pontificating politicians or TV talking heads but, perhaps unsurprisingly, in the words and performances of my musical heroes. I own a shirt that reads, “All my heroes are musicians.” This is especially true for me now. During this pandemic, the musicians I revere — flawed though they may be — comfort me with their wise words and sustain me with their impassioned playing. They help me stay focused on what matters and challenge me to be a better husband, father, son, friend, neighbor and coach every day.

Over the next few weeks, I’d like to share their words and performances in the hope that you too will be positively inspired, encouraged, and touched during this challenging time. I call it “striking the right chord.” I’ll begin with one of my all-time favorite stories as told by legendary jazz pianist Herbie Hancock. It begins at 1:00:32 and ends at 1:05:30.

I love that story. It’s a wonderful example of leadership, empathy, and spontaneous creativity. And it’s just so…well, Miles.

What has inspired, encouraged and touched you these past weeks? Music? Stories? Poems? Places? People?

Stay safe, stay well, stay in harmony. Until next time…

Mike