Inspired by Derek Sivers , this page includes a sample of what I’m thinking about and working on right now. Last updated May 17, 2020.
It’s been over a month since my last Now page update and not much has changed. We’re still (mostly) inside. All of the institutions that are central to my life (work, church) are hinting strongly that it may be some time before things return to the way they were. Twitter is planning on reopening their offices, but they’ve told their employees that they can work from home for as long as they wish. Working in an office is starting to seem like a quaint memory. It is possible that the commercial real estate market takes a hit after this new reality takes hold. Another possibility, though, is that things don’t look so bad for those in the business of selling office buildings. Companies may start to realize it’s not such a hot idea to try and cram people as close together as sardines in a tin can. More commercial space may be needed as business leaders might once again start to embrace the relative expansiveness of offices and cubicles and rearrange open offices for safety and personal space.
Some good news in all this is that people seem to be outside enjoying God’s creation more than ever, if walks around the neighborhood are reliable anecdotal evidence. In NC, we’ve had the perfect weather for being outdoors. The bad news is, we still have people getting infected and dying. In addition, there are bad actors who are making people feel unsafe on the streets (while providing fodder for internet memes) and forcing the closure of government institutions. It’s almost like some people can get away with taking over nature preserves or forcing legislatures to close with impunity. I’m still marveling at this. This pandemic has exposed some serious problems in the US that are only adding to the ones that were glaring before. Income inequality, which has been rising for decades, is now laid even more bare, its consequences made manifest in access to resources. I still feel blessed to have a job but I know many who are struggling in this area. As ridiculous as it seems, healthcare is still tied to an employer. It’s like we systemized kicking people when they are down.
Even those who have job safety are still struggling with the transition. I have a friend who went from traveling and being out a lot to only having gone out once since the closures have spread. There’s a desire to go out, but also a concern about the risks and consequences that epitomizes some of the paradoxes through which we are living.
Things could start changing a bit soon. I may be able to get my haircut, a benefit to which I am very much looking forward. The possibility of vacations to other places could start to enter the picture again. For now, though, we are still sheltering-in-place. If I am to be home, though, like Voltaire’s Candide, I shall hopefully be about tending my garden. The house needs some cleaning and upgrades.
Candide, as he was returning home, made profound reflections on the Turk’s discourse. “This good old man,” said he to Pangloss and Martin, “appears to me to have chosen for himself a lot much preferable to that of the six kings with whom we had the honor to sup.” … “Neither need you tell me,” said Candide, “that we must take care of our garden.” “You are in the right,” said Pangloss; “for when man was put into the garden of Eden, it was with an intent to dress it: and this proves that man was not born to be idle.” “Work then without disputing,” said Martin; “it is the only way to render life supportable.”