Easily the strangest thing about quarantine is how thoroughly time has been stretched and manipulated. I've lived my entire life believing that time was a real, almost physical thing, a concept with weight and strength, that had the power to control huge parts of not just my life, but everyone else's too, all of society. We believed in time, more even than God.
I mean it's not that time, the actual physical concept, doesn't exist. There is still day and night; the sun still moves across the sky, and the earth still travels around the sun and turns and says its daily hello to the moon. Time still exists.
But our conception of time, the one with hours and minutes, and meetings, and "being late" or "being early," that idea of time has gone up in smoke, immediately revealed to be the complete fabrication that it always was. It wasn't even a house of cards because a house of cards is something real that pretends to be something else. No, time has always been a mirage, a fake masquerading as the real thing.
I wonder how many other parts of "society" are just mirages too.
Humans have this incredible ability to make things up and then believe in them with all our might. It is our most beautiful and most tragic gift, to be able to invent God but then believe so mightily in our own versions that we kill each other over it. We see this play out over and over again. We kill each other over our most precious mirages: God, money, time, geography.
So, I wonder what we'll do when all our beliefs are shown to be mirages. When all that's left is the physical, hard and beautiful, very real truth of the world around us. When we realize that God is just an idea and religion is a beautiful way to express our individual or group conceptions of it. When we realize that money is nothing more than a clever way to keep track of the daily gifts we give to each other over the course of a life well-lived. When we realize that time is is nothing more than the number of times we've said hello to the moon and traveled around the sun.
There's a lot of exploring to do in this new, mirage-less world we inhabit. I wonder where we'll go and what we'll do. I wonder what new stories we'll make up.
Whatever they are, maybe this time we'll take them with a few more grains of salt.