Remarkably enough, our site logs show that readers are tuning into CDM from both Israel and Lebanon this week. (Such is the Internet, and I expect those of you who run medium-sized sites will find similar results.) I know many people involved of music who, in times of trouble, wondered if they were in the right line of work — and, more often than not, found that difficult times confirmed as much as challenged their involvement of music. Whether professional or amateur, music can become the single most vital way to retain our humanity. I feel personally connected to both sides of the crisis in the Middle East, by friends and colleagues with strong ties to Israel (both Americans and Israelis), and by my Lebanese-American family here in the U.S. and in Lebanon. But the more one gets to know people from around the world, the more a lot of places that might once have seemed distant feel close. I’m not interested in discussing politics, but I believe we all want a more musical, and a more peaceful world, one in which all innocent life, Israeli, Lebanese, American, or otherwise, can be safer. And I believe that music and art, even challenging music and art, can be an important part of that world.

Whatever your background, I’d love to hear ideas on how art, music making, and music listening can help provide comfort and hope.