As concerns regarding the spread of the coronavirus and government restrictions on group gatherings continue, more event cancellations, postponements, and rescheduling’s are being announced every day in Dallas-Fort Worth and around the world. Weddings, birthday party’s, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, and Christmas traditions are changing.
In Fort Worth, the cancellation of the Texas Ballet Theater’s “Nutcracker” meant the loss of about $2 million in ticket sales.
• AT&T Performing Arts Center Broadway Series: The theater series featuring national tours of Broadway shows has rescheduled Sister Act (was August 11-16, now August 17-22, 2021) and Summer: The Donna Summer Musical (was September 15-20, now July 27-August 1, 2021).
• Enrique Iglesias & Ricky Martin: This concert featuring the two Latin superstars, scheduled for September 13 at American Airlines Center, has been rescheduled for September 12, 2021.
• Genesis Women’s Shelter Luncheon: The fundraiser featuring keynote speaker Nicole Kidman, scheduled for September 2, has been transitioned into a virtual event.
• Justin Bieber: The concert by the pop superstar, which was scheduled for June 27 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, has been rescheduled for August 6, 2021, with a new venue of American Airlines Center.
• Louis Tomlinson: This concert, originally scheduled for July 11 at South Side Ballroom, has been rescheduled for April 24, 2021.
• Luke Combs: The concerts by the country star, scheduled for September 24 and 25 at American Airlines Center, has been rescheduled for November 18 and 19, 2021.
“This pandemic is utterly mind and soul-boggling. How do we even begin to live in such cataclysmic times?” This statement from a friend prompted me to reflect on how we might respond to the enormity of what’s unfolding around us.
The Greek dramatist Aeschylus wrote: “Especially in times of darkness, that is the time to love, that an act of love might tip the scale.”
While still being realistic, I find myself wanting to cultivate some positive perspectives for living during these challenging days.
1) Create pauses. Whatever you’re doing throughout the day, wherever you are, simply stop, pause, and close your eyes. Turn within for some slow, deep breaths, affirming that this moment, this breath, is what you’ve been given. Everything may be unraveling in the outer world, but you are held in the benevolence of your own breath and the momentary quiet. This way you can create moments of refuge throughout your day.
2) Reach out. Never before have we been so aware of our interconnectedness with the whole world. This recognition may feel both overwhelming and strangely comforting: We’re all in this together. We may be temporarily limited by “social distancing,” but we can still reach out to loved ones through electronic means such as phone, email, FaceTime, Skype, and Zoom. Or write a note to an elder who lives alone and would rejoice in your small act of kindness. “An act of love might tip the scale.”
3) Live in the present moment. In spite of this familiar exhortation, our minds are often lost in the past or future. The future is being made out of the present, so the best way to take care of the future is to take care of the present moment.” Don’t shrug this off as one more platitude! Really notice and bring awareness to whether or not you are fully living in this precious moment—the only one you have.
4) Cultivate calm. The simplest steps are often the most overlooked, or the hardest. Since we know how interconnected we are in subtle ways, it is truly a gift to yourself and others to cultivate calm. We can start to do that through the steps mentioned here. Be still. Be calm. Beneath the turbulent waves of this storm, we can always find the calm that lies deep beneath the surface appearance of things. That calm is within.
5) Living with the unknown. The fact is we’ve always been living with the unknown, but probably we’ve never given it serious thought. The enormity of this pandemic thrusts this reality into our consciousness. In these turbulent days, we have a choice: We can slip into a sea of anxiety and fear, or we can look into the face of reality and accept the unknown as a natural part of life. We can rejoice in the day we’ve been given and live it as consciously and lovingly as we can. Who can we reach out to? What kind gesture might we make toward a neighbor? How might our cultivating calm be a gift to others? Our act of love might tip the scale.