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A Cyst in Time
Did you notice during the pandemic that something happened to time? It seemed to stop flowing. For those of us who were touched by the fires here in the West, the effect was even more pronounced. Sometimes, it stood completely still. Or even ran backwards. It was as if we were caught in an eddy and couldn’t get out of it. Encysted in time, you might say, and beset on all sides by plagues and disasters.

Now, we are slowly, slowly breaking free from the blockage. Haltingly, uncertainly, society and culture are opening up. As with the landscape left behind by the fires, there will be a scar, but at least the flow of time has been restored. The disasters still swirl around us, but we have found the current in the stream and are moving forward.

I am not sure what we can learn from our brief captivity in that cyst in time. We are often counseled to live life in the present. It is seen as a way to happiness and even wisdom. In the cyst, however, there was no other choice open to us. Past and future were both cut off from us. The past not only disappeared, but nostalgia lost its charm. The future, where we normally park our hopes and dreams, became a fog, impenetrable and alien.

We were imprisoned in the now, forced to live in the present no matter how bad it was. There wasn’t much happiness to be found, and only now, back here in the flow, can we find the perspective to judge that period of our existence.

It sucked; that much I know. But I knew that at the time. Another truth: even when you live in a self-contained universe where time does not exist, you still age. Maybe that’s the beginning of wisdom I’m looking for. Whoopee.
Yes, voting matters. Polls do not.
~ H, Santa Cruz