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Skidmorites talk about the blues

 

Ad Lib

Got the winter blues? That may not be such a bad thing. As the legendary guitarist and singer Walter “Brownie” McGhee said, “The blues is life.” Here’s what a few Skidmorites say about it:

“The blues” is a common and healthy reaction to the realities of life: change, uncertainty, loss, fear, and sadness. Feeling blue means we are alive and conscious. With every life experience there are what I call “emotional snapshots.” It’s always best to face them squarely—the happy ones, the sad ones, and the many that are both. Depression, on the other hand—an omnipresent “black cloud” of hopelessness—is a far different state.
SARAKAY SHERMAN SMULLENS ’62, psychotherapist

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The blues is a very honest art form. It’s simple, not intellectual; but it reveals an emotional honesty about the world. There’s something very precious and powerful about this music—there’s a healing quality to it. For me, it can have a very elevating effect, which helps relieve the existential pressure of everyday life and transports me to
a different inner plane—one that feels more complete and “at home.” RAY GIGUERE, chemistry professor and amateur blues guitarist

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There’s a lot of literature suggesting that the blues—vernacular for depression—is a psychological safety mechanism. When people get depressed, they become physically immobilized. You almost have to shut down, metaphorically, in order to regroup. So the blues might be a very clever way to consolidate your resources so you can get back into the fray. SHELDON SOLOMON, psychology professor

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In my painting 18 Blue, I was thinking about all the different blues I had seen. Working in New York City, crossing the East River every day, I’d notice the blues in the river… But Gulf of Mexico blue—oh, god. Beautiful, limpid, exotic. All these shades of turquoise and cerulean, so different from the steely, flinty blues of the North Atlantic! To me, blue is always the color of contemplation.
IONA PARK, art professor