There were a few low moments for me while the pandemic was at its peak. Hell, there were a few low moments for me this morning, but I won’t get into that right now. I think one of the (many) reasons the pandemic and the isolation really affected me was because I lost a lot of hope. Most of it, in fact. The country was on fire with racial injustice. Trump was pouring gasoline on it. People were dying. People were being killed. I felt so alone, scared, helpless and hopeless. I’d lost contact with most of my friends. My family and I tried Zoom calls for a while, but even we fell out of that habit too soon. I self-medicated, the way I do when I’m depressed and also when I’m not depressed. I was seeing a therapist, but wasn’t really getting it all out. I don’t know if I’ll ever actually get it all out - how that time affected me - how I’d given up on the best of us because all I could see was the worst of us at every turn. Those anti-maskers. Those riot-gear cops. Those people making death threats to public officials because they couldn't get a haircut. Those images of service industry employees in as much medical gear as doctors and nurses. All of it. I can still see and feel all of it. It weighs on me much more than I let on.
But there was this one moment of hope that I recall so deeply that it makes me cry every time I think about it.
It came in the form of a simple black and white music video called “From Paris With Love” by a singer named Melody Gardot. I watched the video again this morning and had (am having) a nice cry.
It came out when I think we were at our most separated, our most collective alone. It’s a lovely song, and the video highlights some of our best human connection - our ability to be these empathetic, beautiful creatures joining together across thousands of miles.
It gave me (gives me) at once a sense of how much hope there is for me to experience and feel, how much I can still feel it, and how much I still mourn for the hope I’ve lost.
So I watch it, and I cry, and cry. But it’s a good kind of cry, y’know? The kind of cry you need to have, probably more than any of us know. The kind to remind yourself you’re human, and how terrible and wonderful that is.
If you’re reading this, hope you’ll watch it, too. You seem like the sort of human that I think you just might get where I’m coming from.
Here’s to hope. May we find it when we need it most.
Melody Gardot - From Paris With Love (dailymotion.com)
Film Producer: Chloe Serien
Film Director: Claire Palliser
Producer: Larry Klein
Composer Lyricist: Melody Gardot, Pierre Aderne