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Emails to my Therapist

A Mood Booster I’d Forgotten: The Immortal IZ

Dear Nicholas, The three-and-a-half minute video below has already been heard/watched 993  million times. A while back I had played it a few times myself. By chance (or algorithm) I ran across it again yesterday while checking out the new Saturday Night Live skits on Youtube. What a mood-booster to view again!

I’m so pleased to have re-discovered it. The combination of a sweet ukulele, clear blue water of Hawaii, and the bountifully generous spirit of the singer do good things for my state of mind.

Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwo’ole

I loved hearing Iz again and seeing the glorious celebration of his life. Made me feel better about life–and death–it felt like a testament to a spirit living on.

Spiritual Listlessness

Some of my literary friends have recently been talking about words for the dragged-out feeling that can come from our third-surge-of-the-pandemic-political-uproar-global-warming situation. Acedia, from ancient Greek, was a strong candidate, meaning “spiritual listlessness”.   (Spell-check fittingly likes to change the word to acidic.)



Mexico offers another useful description, zozobra, “soul-sickness … from cracks in the frameworks of meaning that we rely on to make sense of our world – the shared understanding of what is real and who is trustworthy….”

What’s Been Helping Me

My own mostly successful resistance to these feelings is likely due to several things and I am fortunate in each one of them. Love and work, the two great sources of meaning, are both available without my leaving home. Husband Bob is right here and others loved ones electronically available. I can work, critiquing manuscripts and doing my writing on the sofa.  And then there’s the OCD medication I take, a mood booster, for sure.  And we live in the country; I get a plentiful dose of nature just by stepping out the door. I read, weed and pat the dog a lot. I’m lucky and I greatly appreciate that.

Less fortunately, being a touch self-absorbed is also a sort of buffer against world troubles.

Even So…

Though I was feeling pretty good when ran across the video again, I felt even better, full of hope for humanity, when I spent three minutes with Iz.  Here he is.  A ukulele high. (I think sun is in his eyes; don’t let that put you off.) Play it, even if you’ve heard it 900 million times before.



Good? Did it hit you the way it did me? Kamakawiwo’ole: a great antidote to acedia and zozobra.



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  • Ke ju
    December 7, 2020 at 11:36 pm Reply

    He is fascinating. I have a great Affinity for all things Hawaiian. I love being there!

    • Peggy Payne
      December 7, 2020 at 11:59 pm Reply

      I can sure understand. I was there once about forty years ago and I treasure the memory of walking into a breezy airport that smelled throughout like flowers.

  • alcooke
    December 8, 2020 at 2:03 am Reply

    Iz lives.

    • Peggy Payne
      December 8, 2020 at 3:36 pm Reply


  • Barbara Bailly
    December 8, 2020 at 12:23 pm Reply

    Thank you for sharing that video. It’s so refreshing.

    • Peggy Payne
      December 8, 2020 at 3:36 pm Reply

      Refreshing is just the right word, Barbara. I keep going back and playing it again.

  • Lee Grohse
    December 13, 2020 at 2:14 am Reply

    Thanks. Enjoyed the short, lovely trip and the sweet music.

    • Peggy Payne
      December 13, 2020 at 2:49 am Reply

      I’m glad you took the trip, Lee. Also, I like most anything with blue water these days.

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