This morning there is a remarkable photo essay in the Washington Post about New York City. The city is empty, vacant, quiet, still- all the adjectives you would never associate with The City, caps intended. It made me seriously consider how I could get there and lose myself in it, walk until I could no longer move, sleep in a corner somewhere, and walk more. This will never be again.
What will our world look like when we emerge from this isolation? Have you noticed how the past has ceased to exist? How we have immersed ourselves in this strange present? We are thinking about survival, not those distant days when we could do anything, everything, that we cannot do today. Crowded places, straphanging on subways, chatting with strangers, shopping with no questions about whether there is flour today. Knowing a future. The past and the future have receded into a haze. We can’t see them clearly.
When I started writing these daily observations I had only one dictum- to write about something good coming out of this. But, only two weeks in, that seems a shallow goal. There is so much more going on than a virus, a bit of RNA (viruses are not alive as we know it, they are primal dust, they only live to live), a ‘disease’. This is a reckoning, a new way of living.
I don’t hate it.
As I ramble, and look out at our empty ghost city, I think about what I really miss and it is little things. Walking to the library to break up my day. A place filled with lost people waiting in line to connect with others via the banks of old computers. Riding a bus without a nagging fear of the others around me. Sitting in Java’s with a macchiato watching the music kids chatter and flow. The weight room. A daily life that has receded. I can write and it sustains me. I can’t care if you read this, other than hoping it strikes a resonant chord.
So, being positive, as I set out to be, is not my theme anymore. Uncertainty and the mundane day to day accommodations we make to this new life are the observations that interest me. Today, now, you, wherever and whoever you are. Love. M