We’re picking a few songs to help keep our spirits up at this time of crisis in a series we’re calling Blues in the Time of Corona, borrowing a bit from the title of Gabriel García Márquez’s famous novel.
Today’s song is Keb’ Mo’s Life is Beautiful from his 2006 album, Suitcase. It reminds us that in all the chaos out there and the suffering of many people, there is still beauty in the world.
Life is beautiful, life is wondrous
Every star above shining just for us
Life is beautiful, on a stormy night
Somewhere in the world the sun is shining bright
It reminds me of something Anne Frank said in her diaries. Anne Frank was a thirteen-year-old girl in the Netherlands when her family was forced into hiding by the Nazis attempted extermination of the Jews. For two years they hid in the sealed-off upper rooms, concealed behind a movable bookcase, in a company building owned by a business partner of Anne’s father. Anne kept a diary of this time, before the family was eventually discovered and sent to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. Here’s what she wrote whilst in hiding:
“At such moments I don’t think about all the misery, but about the beauty that still remains. This is where Mother and I differ greatly. Her advice in the face of melancholy is: ‘Think about all the suffering in the world and be thankful you’re not part of it.’
My advice is: Try to recapture the happiness within yourself and God; think of all the beauty in yourself and in everything around you and be happy. I don’t think Mother’s advice can be right, because what are you supposed to do if you become part of the suffering? You’d be completely lost. On the contrary, beauty remains in the nature, sun, freedom and yourself. If you just look for it, you discover yourself and God, you will stand out.”
There is still beauty in the world. Let’s take the time to appreciate it.