What day of the week is it?
As it happens it is a Sunday. But last night I had to remind myself it was a Saturday night, which now looks like any other night in a world that is closed for business. Until further notice. This message is posted on every business door I pass on my morning walk and it saddens me. It takes a huge commitment and a lot of work to open even the smallest business and a lot of these will not reopen.
The message that I think will really be our primary conversation is about uncertainty. Knowing that a Monday means go to work, that Friday means go out and see friends, that Sunday might be a family or friends dinner. All uncertain and the meaning of the days may fade.
As a writer, both for a living and as a storyteller, this uncertainty offers many enticing scenarios, though the positive ones are more difficult to find right now with the litany of nightmare possibilities we hear everywhere. Yet I see them when I look hard enough. My living room is filled with morning sun and my plants literally glow with it. And it’s hard to find gloom in a flood of light.
But the reality is that anything can go away, everything is ephemeral. Not doom and gloom, just reality. This disease will come and go, markets will crash and rebound, people will make beautiful things.
“Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds”.
Robert Oppenheimer quoting the Bhagavad Gita after observing the first atomic bomb test*
As dark as it is, I have always loved that quote, in its context. A great physicist quotes ancient Hindu vedas on the cusp of unimaginable destructive power. If those ancient Hindu philosophers could conceive the power to unmake worlds, then we know that everything is cyclical, like the days of the week. We will get through this thing.
*Read this article to understand Oppenheimer’s quote in context