Today was supposed to be a sunny warm day on the beautiful north coast of California.
you know, that part of the country known for majestic redwoods; rocky coastlines; Victorian buildings, and breezy blue heavens. Yet, instead of light gusts and azure skies, the atmosphere is strangled by a thick, putrid orange-brown, which is holding back the light from getting through. House lights are on yet darkness swallows us. I have to remind myself that this is not night; it’s lack of light. Because of the gloom, I keep thinking any moment will rise the sun and the skies will clear.
Alas, not today. This is the day of the dark.
I know I’ve said it a gazillion times. I know virtually everyone else has too. But 2020 is a year for the record books. This chapter in time makes the tumult and turmoil of 1968 seem like a fairy tale compared to what we face these days.
It’s hard to remember that as the year began, the biggest points of contention were political: a couple of dozen Democratic candidates vying for the presidency; an investigation into the president; and the subsequent impeachment. We were divided. We were angry.
News of a pandemic began its spread in late winter; come March, our vocabulary included terms previously unknown: social distancing and self-isolate. We secluded ourselves. We were scared.
We did our best to adapt.
The economy and stock market collapsed. Events of every nature were canceled. Workers were laid off, companies shuttered, food lines returned; it was a flashback to the great depression a century ago. We were alarmed.
We adapted as well as we could.
Countless millions the globe over, took to the streets to proclaim black lives matter and protest the deaths at the hands of police of black men; “Karen” became a meme of privilege. We were outraged.
And again, we adapted.
If you’re old enough to read, you’re old enough to remember everything else that has happened this year; almost 200,000 dead Americans and millions of infected fellow citizens; voter suppression; super-spreader events; hurricanes and floods; accelerated climate change couple with the hottest day on record; bringing us to today’s fires. As fall approaches, we are warned of election tampering and more violence. Oh yes, come winter the pandemic will bring with it the winter flu.
“Apocalypse” has been thrown around like a water balloon on a hot summer day. One might say it’s overused. However, it feels like the end-of-days is right around the corner. These are undoubtedly unmatched times. None of us have lived through a pandemic nor experienced an economic crash of this magnitude. Only those of us that are older have been through this much social upheaval. Climate change has never been so dire. Needless to say, the combination of all is indeed “unprecedented,” another over-used but accurate word.
It’s difficult to keep the choking fear at bay. Although I’m not an angry person, I find myself mad almost all the time; wishing desperately to blame someone, something – anything – for this B-quality horror flick in which I find myself. If this was a script, it would never have been green-lit. “No one will believe this,” would have been the studio execs response.
However, we are here and we must yet again adapt.
As beings, we have adjusted to disasters and catastrophes of every means. We have faced great illness. Together we fought hand-in-hand against anarchy and fascism. United, we battled for social justice. As One, we lift the lives of all. No, it has not forever been a forward progression; we have slipped, slid, and fallen back. Yet, as a tribute to who we are — what we are — each time, we adapted and moved headlong into the future; bringing from the blackness a sliver of light.
That is happening even now.
The pain, tumult, anxiety, panic, anger, and frustration are the process needed to cast off our chrysalis, allowing our society to someday (soon) emerge free and light again.
This is not easy and will continue to be difficult for a time to come. But, we will again adapt, by taking collectively one small step after another. We will together reach the other side. This period will become a bad memory. Once there, the sky will again be blue and vibrant. The sun will no longer be caked in suffocating burnt ochre; instead shining forth its radiant, health-giving, unencumbered yellow brilliance.
Until that time, stay present. Take care of yourself. Find support. Keep the faith.
Remember, there is no situation where more love and compassion will make it worse.
About the author: Scott “Q” Marcus is a professional speaker and founder of www.ThisTimeIMeanIt.com, where he can be contacted for coaching, consulting, and presentations. During this social distancing period, he is conducting monthly on-line workshops on setting goals and getting past what holds you back. You can find out more at www.ThisTimeIMeanIt.com/intention