Lately, I’ve been wondering what I’ll remember about this pandemic once we’re on the other side of it. I know that I will remember watching historical events unfold on my living room TV. I know that I will remember Zoom reunions and Zoom funerals. I know that I will remember the tiny moments of hope, the massive heartbreaks, the way that people were pulled together while being torn apart. But I think that what I’ll remember the most is the art and the way that it carried me through the days that I thought I’d be stuck in forever. I think that I’ll remember how I felt about the people who made it.
Yes, I’m optimistic that one day, this time will be a distant memory. We’ll look back on it as a string of months that were equally monumental and monotonous. We’ll forget what carried us through it all. So, before we forget, I want to say thank you.
Thank you to the musicians who are the soundtrack to both my bedroom lip-sync dance parties and the moments when I fall apart remembering everything and everyone I’ve lost. Thank you to the singers who invite us into their homes to play us some songs on Instagram, who talk with us in the comments of their livestream concerts about how they’re experiencing all of this too. Thank you for connecting us through songs that are so universal that we feel like they’re written about our own lives – for making sure that we don’t feel alone. Thank you for reminding us how to feel – how to fall in love, how to dream, how to express our voices (even when our own voices are a little off-key compared to yours).
Thank you to the filmmakers who continue to tell stories. Thank you for transporting us to other worlds, where we can worry about someone else’s problems for a little while. Thank you for reminding us that not all of our heartbreaks will feel like they do now – eventually, we’ll be able to be heartbroken over the wrong person until the right one crashes into us in some hilarious and meaningful way. Thank you for reminding us of all of the journeys yet to come. Thank you for reminding us how to suspend our disbelief and believe in magic again.
Thank you to the photographers who capture significant moments in history for those of us who aren’t able to leave our houses, who capture moments of simplicity that remind us of the peace that can one day still be ours. Thank you for reminding us of the world that exists right outside of our front doors, if only we’re brave enough to venture into it. Thank you for reminding us that it’s waiting right there for us to explore (once it’s safe again).
Thank you to the writers who help us document our emotions and our experiences in a time that’s often difficult to put into words. Thank you for unlocking the doors to new and exciting places. Thank you for helping us to experience the adventures that we’ve been missing. Thank you for taking us along on the journey to fall in love or find treasure or save the world. Thank you for saving us from our world. Thank you for reminding us that our stories aren’t finished yet, either.
Thank you to the comedians who help us remember how to laugh. Thank you to the dancers who help us remember how to express ourselves beyond words. Thank you to the painters who remind us how to see something more beautiful than what’s directly in front of us. Thank you to the actors who take us by the hand and pull us into a world where we can be someone else, just for a moment. Thank you.
I hope that once we’re on the other side of this pandemic, we all remember the way we leaned on the arts during this time. I hope we remember to repay them. I hope we fund community art programs. I hope we give more kids access to art classes. I hope we fight to keep theatres open. I hope we pay artists for their work. I hope we remember to keep saying thank you.