I went for a walk at about 9:30 last night. Not many people out walking dogs and such, which is what I generally see during my ever increasing strolls I use to get some semblance of exercise amidst all this lockdown snacking. It’s a funny game of Frogger, the walks. A sort of reverse Chicken game where the first person who sees another immediately crosses the street like we’re all barely handling rabid pit bulls.
Snow covered everything last night and the wind was down. While walking I was in it. Meaning, snowfall was still heavy, illuminated under street lights – a blanket in the making, and it covered my hoodie as it did my surroundings. It both reduced and exemplified what the whole world was going through somehow. The whitewashing made it seem distant, or at least covered. Sheltered in place. But at the same time, the uniforming snowstorm spared no one or nothing. All in, all under. I walked, one with the snow, but beyond, capable of witnessing its beauty, while all the while aware of my power to remove myself, shift perspective.
It was the same feeling I get when I look at the stars. Rather, the direct inverse of that exact feeling. When I am overtaken with mystical wistfulness, imagining all those stars as suns with possible peopled planets looking up at our own star as sun, as a fleck of biological possibility. In those microscopic moments I feel reduced and freed from all of life’s big-ness by such reduction. But last night, as I said, was same but opposite.
In this thing we are all big. All “essential”. Whether we clock in still everyday, or log in, or couch and eat/drink/game/Netflix/whatever – we all have a role to play and literally every single one of us is important.
The feeling is close to that of 911. Closest in my lifetime anyways. Only this time, somehow, the dangers are more tangibly imminent. We are the weapons of mass destruction. But, similarly to the tragedy of 911, in transcendence of religion or politics or social standing, I am finding hope in that forced unity. This world, and its social media and hyper media and peer pressure advertising built on thefted identities given willfully by our sheepish succumbing indoctrination into all the trappings of this modern world’s technological social advancement, has made me cynical and wary in general of society, and those who make billions vulturing us while being trusted to connect us.
But somehow, like in those days after 911, I believe in us. I have to. Not them, us. That we will show them, again, whose world this is. And in doing so, hopefully, we teach those who will deal with iterations of despair like this in actual future times, the kids who are watching, just how powerful we can be, with or without the “them” who are supposed to be blanketing us with security and protection, like newly driven snow on a peaceful neighborhood evening stroll. We can show them to see the beauty in all we’ve built while empowering them to see their own ability to move beyond, and shift perspective.