Welcome to the Great Indoors.
By the time you read this we will be on day 20 (I’ve lost count) of quarantine and self isolation. Some of you may live alone, some of you have roommates or live with your partner or children or pets or plants.
As time passes and we fall into new routines, we begin to create small universes of our own inside our living spaces. A tiny world with its own social hierarchy—this could just be you and your labradoodle, but who’s making the rules here?! (Your dog may disagree, but you get my point).
What each of our tiny structured universes has in common is that they are all rooted in common myths that exist only in our imaginations. Narratives and stories play a fundamental role in our society. Large numbers of strangers can cooperate based upon shared beliefs in common mythology—like cultural norms and our social institutions.
While it may feel limiting to keep to the physical structural confines of our residences, the thing that is not limited is our imagination and ability to adapt and thrive.
I have found myself being forced to develop new ways to fulfill basic needs and preserve increasingly limited resources—from doing my laundry by hand in my bathtub and using the end of an onion in myriad ways (soup base, salad, salsa, flavor while steaming vegetables), to one very important biological and remarkably spiritual need: connection.
The days where every second is accounted for by someone or something else are fewer and fewer. Time is different. Space has opened up, allowing me to connect with myself and opening the door for examining my innermost fears, desires, dreams, resentments and gratitudes. Space has opened up for people to talk or NOT TALK. Uncomfortable silences no longer need to be filled. Different choices are ours to be made.
This time has also revealed to us that we are not the center stage of the universe. Our universe knows what it is doing and functions in its own way. Imagine that? This is a humbling time for human beings—hopefully it will do us some good, and, in the words of Alexander Vilenkin, “We may find ourselves inhabiting a reality grander than our ancestors dreamed of in their wildest dreams.”