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Holding Hope in Song

Yellow Rose

A bud of golden hope
Just arrived at my door
Tightly coiled in the clasp
Of tiny twirling branches
Carrying the promise of
Bright spring days and
Ripening blossoms
In its furled beauty.
So these coiled days
Where we draw in,
Carry the promise of
Greater care and tenderness
When from bud we bloom
Carrying the love of those
We have lost on the branches
Of spring's golden song.

I wrote this poem after receiving this beautiful rose from Welcome Choir member Zuleika.  One of my lockdown projects is collating collections of my poetry which I look forward to sharing with you!
Holding Hope In Song

Dear Friend

Holding Hope
Hope you are safe and well this virtual Easter/ Passover/  Bank Holiday
I just wanted to beam out lots of love and say a

to everyone who has come to sing online and sent donations, messages, jokes, flowers, fruit or stopped for a socially distant chat.
My heart goes out to all frontline workers, those who are unwell, those grieving loved ones and those facing this crisis in poverty, war, violence and displacement.
I hold hope that in the quiet time we are seeding potential for a huge hug fest and explosion of creativity that could help make our world a more loving, sustainable, fair, caring, beautiful place to be.

How, Where and Why to keep singing
during lockdown.

Here's some resources to help us keep singing our way through this storm.
For the HOW AND WHERE, please check this page on my website
and here's the WHY... much of which applies to other forms of creativity.

Staying Connected
We may be physically distant but we can stay connected in many virtual ways or via post and telephone.
Singing online does have very real limitations - due to delays we can't all hear and sing together. However we can still see and sing along with each other from the safety of our homes - we can wave, whoop, cheer, laugh and make silly sounds together.  We can keep growing the supportive ecosystems of our choirs and social groups in new and unusual ways - my choirs have been having online parties and talent shows!

Boosting Wellbeing
We are facing a respiratory virus and many of us our now moving around less due to lockdown. So as a gentle form of cardio- vascular exercise which deepens our breath cycle, having a good sing - whether in the shower or with online choir, can really support our wellbeing. A great stress buster, it helps us to blow off steam and express our feelings in a safe, creative way.  I've been starting my online sessions with a really good stretch and ending with optional dancing to help keep us all moving.

Being Creative in the Now
I used to say to myself, although you're in restricted and limiting circumstances and you've no idea whether you're going to be out tomorrow, whether you're going to be out in 5 years, whether you're going to die in this place, remember one thing, this is your life now, not tomorrow, not yesterday, now. And in this moment, don't be defeated..
I thought those years in captivity were totally wasted. At the time. But looking back, they weren't. Because I was forced there to use my imagination.. I wrote my first book in my head 

Terry Waite former hostage.

Many new forms of creativity are springing up in these times, as we adapt to our new virtual world.  We are having to dream up new ways to celebrate birthdays, mark social occasions, educate our children, stay active etc. Singing takes us into the realms of imagination, intuition and dreams - enabling us to refresh tired and worried minds and access sources of rejuvenation and inspiration.  Just like other forms of creativity - reading a book, watching a movie - it takes us into creative present moment awareness, giving us fresh perspectives on our lives.

Play, fun, laughter are all great antidotes to stress and anxiety, releasing happy hormones into our systems.  We've been enjoying laughing and being silly at online choir sessions which is such good therapy.  For a big boost for your joy vitamins, check out my friend Joe Hoare's online Laughter Yoga sessions.

Holding Hope
Sure as the wind is blowing and sure as the rain
Sure as the sun does shine, we will raise our song again - Libana

Singing ultimately keeps our spirits up and helps us remain hopeful amidst lockdown, to affirm that this too shall pass, that we will again hug and sing together and that we will emerge having grown, changed and created new ways of living that will enrich our world.

Wishing you and yours nourishing, playful, restful, creative times
during lockdown

Be well, be safe, breathe deep, sing loudly
- huge amounts of love and good singing vibes.