I think about my mother a lot these days. She was a farm girl from Maine with a very no-nonsense approach to life. Once, when I was just starting out in music, I complained to her that I didn’t have enough work. She thought a bit and responded, “When we had downtime on the farm, we would go out to the shed and sharpen all the tools.”
I know that for a lot of people, especially those with small children, there has been precious little downtime since the pandemic began. Others, though, have had the opposite challenge: not enough work to fill the days. For me, it helps to keep my mom’s story in mind. When there’s no work to do, I practice piano. I practice guitar. I write music that nobody asked for. It doesn’t solve every problem, but it helps keep my creative tools sharp.
Hopefully sometime in 2021, after everyone has been vaccinated, we musicians can emerge, blinking, from our woodsheds and get back to the business of making music together. I wish you strength and health as you sharpen your tools until then.