Change is a Constant

Artwork by Paul Watson

It’s a cool clear morning here on the southern coast. Sparrows perching on the phone lines, distant cries of seagulls. It feels so calm, but it shouldn’t be. The tiny fracture lines in the world widen.

The question of what sort of world we will emerge into post-lockdown continues to be asked. Are we looking at an even-more authoritarian dystopia as presaged by the violent racist actions of police and president in the US, some sort of anarcho-socialist utopia as the scales fall en-masse from people’s eyes, a return to the previous “normality” of neo-liberalism because the lazy inertia of “getting back to normal” overrides a desire for the effort to effect a positive change?

I’m no prophet - it could be any of these, a combination, or something completely different. I know what I want (and you probably do too if you’re read this blog before), but I don’t know what will actually happen.

And what of us, ourselves? Will we emerge unchanged as individuals? Are we, each of us, already fundamentally changed by the events of 2020 (not to mention those events still to come before this damned year ends), or does that desire to “get back to normal” mean we plaster over the cracks, and try to carry on as if nothing has actually changed us?

For this second part I can only conclude that we will change as individuals, as we are all incrementally changed by every life event we experience: the death of a loved one, gaining a new friend, losing an old friend. This is just one of those strange times where everyone is experiencing the same major life event — albeit in different ways and at different degrees — simultaneously.

Sometimes these events accelerate existing changes within you, sometimes they create completely new ones. The choice is whether to accept those changes or to try to plaster over them. And the latter never works, at least not for long.

We change, and change is the only constant.