Twenty seconds of hand washing. 60 to 90 percent alcohol. Six feet of distance. People worldwide have absorbed these guidelines as the coronavirus pandemic has closed its fist around the world. But humans also need to keep the spirit moving, as did Charles Dickens — who lived through a few epidemics — by taking a daily "breather" in the fresh air. Here we offer recommendations for psychic health from people who go deep into their own hearts and minds: artists and writers. Creative people have been uniquely affected by the onset of the current pandemic. Still they continue to dream, and to create. They can help us understand how. —Ann Powers
Today's Breather comes from Katie Crutchfield of Waxahatchee. Her new album, Saint Cloud, is out on March 27. She recently had to postpone tour dates due to COVID-19 concerns, but will be livestreaming a set from her home on her Instagram on March 26 at 9 p.m. Eastern.
In these days of an uncertain future I've been revisiting Pema Chodron's writing. In all of her work, she talks about groundlessness and how insecurity can be a path to freedom. It presents an opportunity to choose peace and spaciousness over aggression or anxiety. Existing in the groundless unknown can actually shepherd us toward enlightenment.
In the same breath, I've been revisiting Cardi B's Invasion of Privacy. Cardi's confidence is contagious and hearing her raw emotion fills me with some kind of faith that eventually we're all going to be okay. The juxtaposition of Pema and Cardi are healing me spiritually.