Winter has brought short days, cold nights, and muted colors. But even in this grey rainy gloom, you can find light. Last weekend, I had the great pleasure of hearing the pianist Roger Woodward and members of the Alexander String Quartet play Dmitri Shostakovich‘s Piano Trio No. 2 in E Minor, Opus 67. It was January 20, 2018, the morning of the Women’s March marking a year since the Presidential inauguration. Shostakovich’s deeply moving music was inspired by the tragic discovery – as the Nazi armies retreated from their failed siege of Leningrad – of the Russian atrocities committed against Jewish People. I found the sobering music – particularly the strong chords of the opening of the third movement “Largo” appropriate for my reflections both political and personal. What was inconceivable has become all too real: capitalism flirts actively with fascism, and democracy is gravely challenged. Illness has struck my loved ones. Like standing in a field in winter, life seems almost absent. Time slips through your fingers; silence roars. Shostakovich’s music breaks your heart, but mends it just the same. Life continues, sleeping underground.