Tuesday, 14 April 2020
Bocelli in My Bubble
I awoke at 5am to watch Andrea Bocelli sing "Music for Hope" live from the Duomo di Milano in Italy, one of the countries most ravaged by Corona-19. I sat here in the office in my pyjamas with a cup of tea in front of my computer, my hair unbrushed and a duvet wrapped around my legs.
Andrea Bocelli was a solemn figure, suit and bow-tie, singing from his heart in the magnificent Milan Cathedral. Lasting just half an hour, the concert included favourites like Ave Maria and Domino Deus, the mood all the more poignant in that this famous man stood amidst stained glass windows, pious statues and lit candles, in this awe-inspiring cathedral, through which, normally, thousands of tourists traipse through every day, but today he had no audience. Got no applause. It was beautiful but haunting in that he was seemingly singing forth into a silent vacuum but, in actual fact, was being beamed into living-rooms all over the planet.
When at the end, Andrea Bocelli sang 'Amazing Grace' outside the huge front entrance of the Milan Cathedral, well, who could not be moved by the words, 'I once was blind but now I see", coming from his serene face, eyes closed by blindness?
But, metaphorically, blind eyes can, given hope, see and a sick Covid-19 locked-down planet can be healed.
These words, translated from Italian to English, drifted across our screens before the concert started.
"I believe in the strength of praying together.
I believe in the Christian Easter.
A universal symbol of rebirth that everyone,
Whether they are believers or not, truly needs right now.
Thanks to music, streamed live, bringing together
Millions of clasped hands, everywhere in the world,
We will hug this wounded Earth's pulsing heart".
Sometimes what we see in life is determined by what we choose to focus on.
When I went on my first lock-down walks I took along a big bag in which to collect the tossed-out-of-car beer-bottles and RTD cans that seem to litter all New Zealand rural roads. All I did on those utterly stunning blue-sky, sun-in-your-face days was gaze at the ground and resent the dumb-asses who were too lazy to take their empties home with them. I saw glass, tin and plastic. I saw old milk-shake containers and disintegrating KFC cardboard boxes.
I was intent on rubbish and that is what I saw, That is what I collected and carried with me.
All very commendable of course but, after a week, I knew I still had to exercise my body but relax my mind. Just enjoy. So I took no bag along. I let the simply gorgeous day caress me. I looked here and there at cows and horses, wetlands with quacking ducks, manuka and cabbage trees.
It did me a lot of good looking up, not down.
"Hello, fencepost, what'cha doin'?
I've come to watch your cows a mooin'"