We live in challenging times – whirlwinds blowing in and out of every corner. COVID struck first and is still with us. And now Russia invades Ukraine; it’s like a one-two punch. We can only pray that Putin isn’t dumb or mean enough to attempt a KO punch by starting a nuclear war.
It’s not easy to feel positive or find moments of cheer. Our own (USA) divisiveness and the January 6 riot seem like kiddy play (which they are not) in comparison. And they certainly don’t help in dealing with COVID or Putin.
Like most people, I don’t like to be sad and do my best to keep away from depression. I was stuck for a while – truth said, more than a little while – but then remembered that music and song can lift one’s spirits.
I recalled one song that is usually sung during a Sabbath meal. It’s directly related to war. It’s taken from Isaiah 2:4. The lyrics are the last two phrases of that verse:
Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, nor shall they learn war anymore.
It was set into a two-part round by Shalom Altman in 1948 while he was a student at the Julliard School of Music in New York City. Here’s a link to one recording on YouTube.
You can hear for yourselves why it is so uplifting and is now sung around the world. (And we can hope soon also in Russian.)
Immediately before these phrases, Isaiah says:
They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks.
Google came through with a picture of the 9’ bronze casting, Let Us Beat Swords into Plowshares, by the Russian sculptor Yevgeny Viktorovich Vuchetich that’s in the garden of the United Nations Headquarters in New York City, proving once again that God has a sense of humor. (Not sure I always want to laugh, but that’s my problem.) The Soviet Union gave it to the United Nations in 1959.
I hope this helps and pray that by the time you read this we will be well on our way to finding a peaceful resolution to this latest conflict.
Ken was a Professor of Mathematics, a ceramicist, a welder, and an IBMer until downsized in 2000. He taught yoga until COVID-19 decided otherwise. He continues writing, living with his wife and beagle in Shorewood, Wisconsin. He enjoys chamber music and mysteries. He’s a homebrewer and runs whitewater rivers. Ken is a writer and his literary works can be found at https://www.kmkbooks.com/
He welcomes feedback on his articles and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.