Now that the new year has begun, I imagine a gradual return to normal. I’ve pondered this word before, but I still marvel at the comfort some of us take in “normal” activities, a “normal” life, the “normal” progress of politics. Is there really such a state?
The word reminds me of “nostalgia,” which presupposes a better time/place/state of mind. When life was good, when people were kind, when everyone knew their place. Ever elusive. Like a sense of “home,” which as soon as one feels it, it vanishes–becomes dark and disturbed. Evanescent. Evanescence.
Words. So many words. We’ve been playing the Times’ Spelling Bee–an accursed game that leads one through promises of ever-growing intelligence (Nice –> Great –> Amazing –> Genuis) and the ultimate prize of “Queen Bee” (guessing *all* of the possible words. So seductive. So comforting.
The comfort of words, games, puzzles, movies, books, music, organized shelves and spaces. These buffer the death, the raging pandemic, the horrifying news. We are meant to be sheltered now. Encased in our homes. Comforted by words. Safe with the normal routine of life in lock-down.