These past few weeks — though they seem to have stopped lately — I’ve been having these dreams of being in a hotel room that I had come to think of as a permanent home, frantically packing my bags and looking for random items under beds and furniture the same way we scour an apartment when we’re days from moving out.
The settings of the dreams change — a Caribbean resort with long-familiar beaches, a chic hotel in the downtown core of a major city — but the theme is the same: the place I had come to for a temporary visit had somehow become a place I thought would be home forever.
This is definitely some Pandemic shit being worked out by my unconscious. The parallels are so obvious to be almost cheesy.
Our sense of time is as distorted as our perceptions of each other. How many of us deep down truly felt that things would be like this forever? It’s not like we were terribly patient people before 2020.
Temporary measures aren’t forever by definition, but when the scale of our “temporary” notion is based on days and weeks instead of months and years, we may feel that way, and we stifle.
In a pop culture that elevates feelings over reason out of a reaction to emotional suppression, we forget that acting from momentary emotion makes us vulnerable to manipulation. We invent William Golding’s Beast in our minds and see monsters and conspiracies where they aren’t necessarily there.
But here we are, at last, going back out. It’s not “back to normal”. We are different. We are warped and traumatized by what’s happened and is still happening. We are different.
If there’s no going back to “us”, there’s no going back to “normal”, either. The river’s never the same. The banks themselves have shifted. Much that was in the sun is under water. Much that was hidden is now in open air. Some things now get lapped by the water.
Today has felt…liminal somehow, like I and everyone around me are in between places. At the pace things change around us, such transitions are frequent, but noticing them become rare events.
Disease and war occupy the mid ground of our awareness here where I live, and in the background, the dim presence of the climate looms massive like Andromeda in the sky, but its…