Even as musicians carefully wrap their instruments in satin felt, and place them inside cases, I urge them to bring them out. In a despairing world, it is art and creativity that shows beauty that will soon be here again, loveliness, that will bring hope into a despairing world.

There is a duty to be performed for the creators of art, for musicians, painters, and writers. Now is the time to bring out pen and paintbrush, now the time for strains of music to lift downtrodden souls.

Picture for a moment a scene around a grave, where a loved one is being buried, and suddenly a plaintive voice starts singing, “Abide with Me!” Suddenly a new window opens in that dismal scene, a window to heaven, showing that where there is creativity and beauty there is hope.

Remember, that moving scene when the Titanic is sinking, and the orchestra plays, “Nearer my God to Thee,” when in that chaos and confusion, there is a calm, that is divine.

How easy today, to point at scenes of death, bodies floating down the Ganga, and other hospital scenes, and to feel dragged even lower into the depths of despair.

But, do you have a talent for music, of painting, of writing, then this is your day.

If ever there was a time for art to take over, it is now.

Within us is a yearning to link ourselves to God, and this is called, ‘first order beliefs’. We don’t know why, but we long for beauty and the doing of right. Whatever our religious beliefs, that yearning exists, and in a famous TV broadcast, Leonard Bernstein, American conductor, composer, pianist, music educator, author, and lifelong humanitarian who was one of the most significant American cultural personalities of the 20th century and yet not a religious man said, “Listening to Beethoven’s Fifth, you get the feeling that there is something right with the world!’

Even in the midst of this pandemic wrong, if that sense of ‘right’ can be created in people’s minds, the feeling that soon things will be alright, then we as musicians or painters or writers or those in any other art form, are doing what they are supposed to do at a time when their services are most required. 

Take that violin out of it’s case, those paint brushes from yonder cupboard, open your laptop to a blank page, because now is when your music, your art is needed, now when the earth is in despair, your plaintive strains need to flow from bow and brush or pen to help people smile again.

That smile of hope and positivity will bring more cure than any vaccine!

Let us start pointing beauty to a despairing world..!

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