As the worst pandemic in a century continues to ravage the soul of the globe mercilessly, imposing the natural order of things that man has long subverted — and is now called to reckon with — art once more comes to the rescue. Whether it is as literature, paintings, music, theater or film (to name just a few), the options for tortured quarantined souls to feel they are not completely alone are plenty.
People are happy in diverse and equally rich ways. Some of us are more inclined to rather sedentary forms of happiness, like curling up with a book or watching a nice movie/show on TV under the light of a stove fire. Others will rather take long hikes in inhospitable woods, camp on the countryside, ride their bikes until they lose track of where they are. All are good sources of pleasure and happiness, and all are equally healthy for the mind.
Oftentimes, friends of mine who are more inclined to physical activity as an anchor to their sanity will look at me as a highly unhealthy person who is taking things the wrong way. I disagree with that appreciation, at least partially. Sure, I could lose a few pounds and be less carried away by an occasional (sometimes frequent) indulgence, but what about Shakespeare? What about the magic of an evening violin or piano concerto? What about this moment now, when the house is quiet, the dog is sleeping and I am typing away these words for the world to see in complete and blissful silence?
No, you can say many things. You can even convince me that my physical health is average because I do not exercise enough or like the same things as you. Whatever you do, don’t be too worried about me. I will be fine. I will always be happy surrounded by books, a good movie, perhaps a nice seasoned Single Malt, and the silent company of my dog. I still have to find a soulmate that enjoys conversations about life, love and whatever for hours on end. I thought I had found that person but it seems she does not enjoy long conversations about what is meaningful to me. Sad, for sure, but life is never more than a box of chocolates, as Forrest Gump would say: “You never know what you are going to get”.