Improvising the Future

La Voz de Galicia – May 22, 2020 →

Cristina PatoI had to make a complex professional decision, a decision that would have been very clear before the era of COVID-19. I thought about it a thousand times. Do I do it…Don’t I do it. And finally, after much thought, I decided that this is an exceptional moment that forces us to make exceptional decisions.

Then I began to think about the fact that perhaps one could no longer be guided by the previous scale of values because the reality where those values were forged does not exist anymore.

22 years as a professional musician, 12 as an educator, 10 as a producer, 6 as a columnist should be worth something. But now the environment changed and with it, the necessary traits to survive in it have changed as well–those traits that we spent so much time nurturing and that now seem irrelevant. Writing these columns is the only one of my professions that has not changed–the others have nothing to do with what they were.

We are doing things that we would never do before (wear masks, observe physical distancing…), things we don’t even know how to do, and that we learn as we move forward. In all occupations, in all kinds of lifestyles, we are all learning something each day. Perhaps that is the most beautiful thing about this historic moment.

This is why in those days where it seems that one’s life experience no longer matters, I try to think about the idea that all those traits on which we spent so much effort developing could be transferred to this new phase. It’s only a matter of trying, trial and error, improvisation until we hit on our «new particular normal.» The only tool we have to build our future is this: not to lose hope and continue improvising ways of surviving with what we are.

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