Been thinking about transience a lot lately, as so many everyday things that I take for granted are no longer within my reach and so many more are gradually slipping away. I carry this constant feeling that none of this is a temporary blip, and that none of it isn’t all going to miraculously swing back to “normal” the way it used to be, once this is over.
Something much bigger has been affected, uprooted. And the way forward, if we know what’s good for us, will be nothing like we have known it to be thus far.
I feel hyper-aware of systems crumbling. Of all the many big and small dysfunctions and gaping holes we have enabled. How perverse the inequities that we have created actually are, and how long we have just gone with it, turning away, snug in our comfortable positions of privilege we have occupied of no effort of our own.
I don’t know how we’ll un-see any of this. I know we shouldn’t. Because more than anything this experience has me seeing how transient everything is. How impermanent even the most solid things that we thought unchangeable actually are. How just because systems have existed in a certain way for centuries, doesn’t mean they work or that they don’t stand to be questioned. Or that they won’t crumble, entirely out of our control. How even the most powerful nations are rendered useless in the face of collapse of this nature.
Mostly, I feel if we don’t do the timely course correction, nature does. And by nature I just don’t mean the environment. I mean the nature of systems that always seek balance. They will swoop in, inevitably, bringing back order again. and it might not always be the order we want or would like.
Unlike the comforting, expected bursting forth of spring, that always signals change and temporariness, life and death to me, I realise that sometimes lessons in transience are violent and challenging. Not at all comforting, not at all expected, not what we are equipped to handle. Forcing us to think on our feet, challenge all that we have come to believe as absolute and unchanging.
It becomes easier to see the need for change, and to embrace it even when it comes this unexpectedly, if we have cultivated mental flexibility. To be fixed and cocksure about a way of being, even in the face of such inequity, is no longer an option. The only way we’ll be se to find new methods, is to remove ourselves from the fixed outcomes we covet and hold true, and embrace the new gifts that this churn has to offer. As individuals, as well as communities.
I don’t know that anything is ever going to be the same. And I wonder if we have it in us to really understand what this Transience means and is asking of us.