On Consolation

In these troubled times, we all can use a little consolation — something that gives a hope or perhaps just some reassurance that it will all make sense some day.

In the bad old days, I would turn to alcohol for consolation. It would work for a few hours but would, in the long haul, tend only to deepen despair. Once I was released from that, I was able to identify more lasting resources.

Many of us turn to sacred writings for comfort and indeed words such as Psalm 23 can offer powerful reassurance. Similarly, we may be consoled with a beloved hymn.

I have found some consolation in poems such a Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” during times of indecision or Dylan Thomas’ “Do Not Go gentle Into That Good Night” when I struggle with fears about death.

But I would have to say that nothing comforts like music. Yes, hymns can be a comfort but there have been other pieces of music that I have turned to during times of grief or fear that have lifted me up. I’m glad to know they are there.

Reflection: 1. What resources do you have for consolation?

For Listening: Here are 3 non-Church pieces in which I find great consolation. feel free to post a link to some of your favorites:

1. “Imagine” by John Lennon. This deeply spiritual, non-religious song still rings true. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yRhq-yO1KN8

2. “Forever Young”. This great Bob Dylan song captures my attitude about aging. The Joan Baez version is best but  this version from the film “Young at Heart”, filmed at a prison, shows hope happening. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ouyC24IFlo

3. “You’ll Never Walk Alone”. There are many great versions out there. This is my favorite. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKKsZij81lM