How People In Austin, Texas Are Making the Best of the Pandemic

Although there is a lot of scary news right now, we’re also hearing many stories about people innovating and making the best of a universally hard experience.  As a provider of outpatient mental health care, we’re going to take time out of our work to call attention to the good news.  We’re calling it “a pandemic of success stories!”  We’re also including suggestions of things to do while we’re sheltering in place.

ONLINE VIDEO GAMES:

The Sims – I think this is a revamped multiplayer game from the 90’s

ONLINE PHYSICAL EXERCISE:

  • Hillary Chung Castle Hill Fitness
    • Castle Hill Barre
  • YMCA – I heard the trainers are offering online exercise classes.

TRAINERS AT PARKS:

Tanya Tudor 510.333.6381

CULTIVATE – SWEETEN THINGS UP:

“Absolutely My Man”:  Wynton Marsalis Reflects on His Father Ellis Marsalis’ Passing

My daddy passed away last night. We now join the worldwide family who are mourning grandfathers and grandmothers, mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers— kinfolk, friends, neighbors, colleagues, acquaintances and others.

What can one possibly say about loss in a time when there are many people losing folks that mean so much to them? One of my friends lost both her mother AND father just last week. We all grieve and experience things differently, and I’m sure each of my five brothers are feeling and dealing in their own way.

My daddy was a humble man with a lyrical sound that captured the spirit of place–New Orleans, the Crescent City, The Big Easy, the Curve. He was a stone-cold believer without extravagant tastes. Like many parents, he sacrificed for us and made so much possible. Not only material things, but things of substance and beauty like the ability to hear complicated music and to read books; to see and to contemplate art; to be philosophical and kind, but to also understand that a time and place may require a pugilistic-minded expression of ignorance.

His example for all of us who were his students (a big extended family from everywhere), showed us to be patient and to want to learn and to respect teaching and thinking and to embrace the joy of seriousness. He taught us that you could be conscious and stand your ground with an opinion rooted ‘in something’ even if it was overwhelmingly unfashionable. And that if it mattered to someone, it mattered.

I haven’t cried because the pain is so deep….it doesn’t even hurt. He was absolutely my man. He knew how much I loved him, and I knew he loved me (though he was not given to any type of demonstrative expression of it). As a boy, I followed him on so many underpopulated gigs in unglamorous places, and there, in the passing years, learned what it meant to believe in the substance of a fundamental idea whose only verification was your belief.

I only ever wanted to do better things to impress HIM. He was my North Star and the only opinion that really deep down mattered to me was his because I grew up seeing how much he struggled and sacrificed to represent and teach vital human values that floated far above the stifling segregation and prejudice that defined his youth but, strangely enough, also imbued his art with an even more pungent and biting accuracy.

But for all of that, I guess he was like all of us; he did the best he could, did great things, had blind spots and made mistakes, fought with his spouse, had problems paying bills, worried about his kids and other people’s, rooted for losing teams, loved gumbo and red beans, and my momma’s pecan pie. But unlike a healthy portion of us, he really didn’t complain about stuff. No matter how bad it was.

A most fair-minded, large-spirited, generous, philanthropic (with whatever he had), open-minded person is gone. Ironically, when we spoke just 5 or 6 days ago about this precarious moment in the world and the many warnings he received ‘to be careful, because it wasn’t his time to pass from COVID’, he told me,” Man, I don’t determine the time. A lot of people are losing loved ones. Yours will be no more painful or significant than anybody else’s”. That was him, “in a nutshell”, (as he would say before talking for another 15 minutes without pause).

In that conversation, we didn’t know that we were prophesying. But he went out soon after as he lived—-without complaint or complication. The nurse asked him, “Are you breathing ok?” as the oxygen was being steadily increased from 3 to 8, to too late, he replied, ”Yeah. I’m fine.”

For me, there is no sorrow only joy. He went on down the Good Kings Highway as was his way, a jazz man, “with grace and gratitude.” And I am grateful to have known him.

– Wynton

Listen To Music (Virtually) In The Live Music Capital of the World

Austin is a hub for musicians and artists alike. The musical routes of the city stem all the way back to the 1800s.

If you can believe it, there are more than 250 live venues here in Austin.  Just because they’re all closed doesn’t mean you cant enjoy a great tune being played by a local Austin musician!

Check out this article from the Austin-American Statesman:
https://www.statesman.com/entertainment/20200402/austins-livestream-music-capital-in-time-of-coronavirus!

Live streams of music