“My own suspicion is that the Universe is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we can suppose.” -J. B. S. Haldane
How do these days taste to you? How do they feel, literally in your heart? Do they sit with you, whispering confused thoughts? Do they weigh on your stomach like a heavy meal?
Life in Covid-19 lockdown has a unique feeling, in distinct contrast with all that preceded it. If you were writing the great Corona novel you’d observe the climate, character, and ambiance of this time. The form, style, and subject matter would come out of you dyed vividly with the anxious, strange, and haunting uncertainty of this collective experience.
If god forbid, someday in the middle future we find ourselves in quarantine again, all this will hit us like a lead-pipe deja-vu: The dread, uneasily watching spasmodic charts of cases and deaths. Reports from overwhelmed cities and tearful ER staff. Ourselves adrift, unemployed, possibly forever. Time dissolving, as the familiar weekdays drift out of position like objects in space. Untenable haircuts growing like abandoned yards. Every one of these experiences is more than a thought. All of them are sensations in the body, and feelings in the heart.
More subtly, there is something in the air in these altered times. An instability, or fragility, as if everything is suddenly exposed and undefended. There is an ominous sense of something bad, just out of sight. You feel vulnerable but vulnerable to what exactly you don’t know, you just feel exposed, vaguely targeted.
This is a psychological state in the wind like an odor: Strangeness like a pressure drop. It makes you check the locks. It makes you alert to small noises.
The next morning you wake up to a normal day, and those feelings are gone. You may think “That was silly getting so weirded out”. But what if last night’s feelings weren’t a mistake, but a perception of shifting reality, gone the next day like a blown-out storm.
“Reality Weather”™ is a metaphor to describe this nameless but omnipresent aspect of life. It’s silly that something so fundamental (if ephemeral) lacks a common handle so there it is. Reality weather is the mood of days, the expression on the face of passing time. Reality weather is the music accompanying the compelled dancing of strange times. I don’t mean the shifting experience of any one single person. I mean the moods and gut feelings that we in the collective experience as external shifts in personal climate. Of course, it is a subjective experience, that’s what experience IS but reality weather is like the simultaneous community experience of a powerful drop in barometric air pressure. It must be experienced, person by person, but reality weather is the connecting Venn circle of persons having a congruent experience. Reality weather is a collective mood-swing. Continue reading