For a thing that human beings invented, time sure seems to have a life of its own. One day we're rushing to get it all done, the next day the bottom falls out. Urgency dissipates, and things that once seemed critically important aren't even on our lists anymore.
I'm a naturally anxious person for whom time has always been troublesome. For most of life, I've been in an irrational hurry, eager to finish one thing so I can move on to the next. Out on a hike? Get me back so I can sweep the porch. Reading a book? Wrap it up so I can start the next one. Out to dinner? No dessert, it takes too long.
As I read what I just wrote, I know it sounds kind of sick. But it's hard to fight. Anxiety for me is hard-wired, beyond any sense of control.
In the age of corona, though, the nature of time seems to be shifting somewhat, or at least fragmenting. Millions of people will face weeks, if not months, of self-imposed exile, watching and waiting with few external demands. Meanwhile, those on the front lines of the pandemic face a different kind of time. For the people who work in grocery stores, hospitals, delivery, emergency services, time has shifted into overdrive, even though there's little hope of getting ahead of the monster surrounding us.
I'm torn with a sense of helplessness and guilt about all of the above. I relish the sense of time slowing down, giving me a reprieve from one kind of worry. But I'm increasingly overcome with another kind of worry, something more existential and beyond our control. Our species is proving itself unworthy of the world in which we live.
This morning I took some time to watch some of the Thom Tillis propaganda machine in action. It was an ugly mess of lies and bravado, from someone who has betrayed our state and our country more times than I can count. His embrace of the Orange Menace is criminal and must be punished.
In the meantime, I turned him off.