An Accidental Songwriter and Moors, Music and Meditation. “Sitting out Corona virus and the pit of “Change”.

I am wondering if everyone feels like me – the amount of change right now feels like each day is like a week and each week like a month! Our incomes dry up, and the way we live our lives has all been turned on its head. There are no landmarks of familiarity and security to help us process this new situation. But one thing is certain- we are all in this together, rich or poor. This Corona virus is a great leveller – and it makes us consider things in a different way.

When I did  my teacher training I did a wonderful module about doing philosophy for children. The lecturer showed us a graph about the process of change and creating new thinking patterns. I can’t remember it precisely but change seemed to follow this pattern; first one is plunged into the chaos of new thinking, secondly one begins to absorb it and make sense of it, thirdly one flows with it and it becomes normal and lastly one is ready to leap frog into the next evolutionary step of growth. I think we are all in step 1 right now.

On a personal level this is reflected by my trying to adapt as a dyscalculic person to trying to teach  singing/music online ( logical sequences and processing is impacted as is the ability to process number with dyscalculia). Couple this with rural internet speeds that freeze and upload  with the speed of a snail ,alongside teaching a clientele who are children- some with additional needs- then  a successful outcome is not a given. 

Teaching online requires a decent internet and works best with focused functioning adults. So, a bit despairing about work . My pupils have gone down to 5 in number.

So, I do some work  with my songwriting and do a wee accapella “concert” online for youtube. Again, I have to navigate the delights of technology, trip over leads, get muddled about what end goes where for electrical leads, dab ineffectually at tabs and buttons on computers and spend six hours uploading! The singing is natural- that flows- but the world of knobs, buttons, computer processes , leads and volume knobs is like an unknown maze for the unitiated- more so, for someone again with dyscalculia. Here is the link;  (If that does not work You tube Abigail Rooley-Towle, Home Accapella Concert…point.)

Still, Rome was not built in a day and this is the time of change, creating new patterns, new work methods. It is all but persevering, having a go and laughing at the mishaps, the silent online music lessons where you cant hear each other or it feels like you are singing into each others ear like  digital Chinese whispers because the sound keeps fading in and out due to patchy freezing internet!

Then, there is the scary loss of income as a self employed person. My money feeds the household and heats the home- my husband does the rent and bills. I have just enough money saved to last us till mid April. I am not impressed one iota by the governments piecemeal attempts to help the self employed.

We can get Universal Credit- with a five week wait….but you have to make a joint claim if you live with a husband/partner…so you won’t even get that lofty amount of £94 a week! For every pound your partner earns 63p is taken off your allowance! My son found me crying on the sofa- wondering again as a dyscalculic person how to work this all out and how more importantly we are going to eat. He worked it all out for me and we estimate that our MONTHLY allowance will be something in the region of £229 ! That is pissing in the wind (please excuse the uncharacteristic bad language) and no way can a family of four eat sensibly or heat their house with that! Who on earth makes up the weird criteria about what people can live off- certainly not someone who has had to actually do it! I am still wondering, in a rather panicked fashion, how to put food on the table…

Not impressed. Oh yes! We can – in June- get 80% help fro HMRC …in JUNE? What are we supposed to do before that? Sit with a begging bowl? No, we would not be allowed on the streets! And, if one earns modestly as I do ,then there is a shortfall that impacts bellies. And another question, can one have this help and also universal credit at the same time? There does not seem to be an answer to this.

And, then there is the lack of protective clothing and testing kits to help our key workers through this pandemic.

Not impressed. My husband works as a carer and he has no protective clothing and has to use his own homemade sanitiser because there is none left!

But for all these shortfalls and the complacency by western governments that allowed the spread of this catastrophic pandemic by not having measures and safeguards in the early stages, there are some beautiful and wonderful things.

Mother Nature is breathing again, the ozone layer is healing and pollution is dropping. Kindness and community support  are a positive pandemic that shows what we are really about. We will get through this by kindness and human care. We will enter our pit of change- make new neural pathways that are perhaps wiser, more innovative, more considerate, maybe make society more equal. Because it is forcing governments to think about everyone. I hope they can yet come up with better ways to help in this time of need.  We are all like pebbles on a beach washed by the effects of this pandemic- rich, poor, old, young. What we have is our common humanity and it is this that is beautiful and it is this that needs to shine through. 

And, when this is all over we can hug and share that common humanity and hold onto that kindness that will help us through and help us start over with a different gentler approach.


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