Archive for September 1st, 2020

Fred Rogers: There’s no normal life that is free from pain.
Lloyd Vogel: How do you deal with it?
Fred Rogers:  … play the lowest keys on a piano all at the same time.
Lloyd Vogel: Do you ever talk to anyone about the burden you carry?
Fred Rogers: Bong! [imitates hitting the piano keys again]

That is my one of my favorite scenes in the movie A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. It is a reminder that there are ways to deal with pain and burden without hurting someone else or yourself … we just need to find what works best for each of us.

This movie tells of the research done by author Tom Junod for an article in Esquire magazine, which resulted in research and redemption in the author himself. Watching such a movie is a mood reset for me.

What do we do … how do we handle the deepest pains in our lives? Do we drain a bottle of alcohol? dive into the cupboards for carbs? pull a Mt. St. Helens on those around us? go for a run? kneel down low and lift our burdens high? or play the lowest keys of a piano all at once?

It is good to ask ourselves this question, searching for what our most natural response to pain, to burden, anxiety. Pain and burdens are real and we have to find ways to deal with the real.

I have had times when I felt like a pressure cooker, ready to explode in tears or anger or a disquiet that made me vibrate all over. I am, most naturally, one to seek our the carbs … as if a tummy full of yeast and sugar is gonna lighten my mood (or my weight).

When I am thinking clearly but the weight on my shoulders heavy, I sit down in the dark and turn on a story that explodes with positivity, redemption, light … it’s like playing the lowest keys on a piano all at the same time.


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