Steadying

For some time now it has felt like history is itself the pandemic. In our country and elsewhere, it has been in overdrive, teeming with evils, flush with collapses, abounding in fear and rage, a wounding contest between the sense of an ending and the sense of a beginning, between inertia and momentum, with all the terribilities of ages of transition. What is going has not yet gone and what is coming has not yet come. We have become connoisseurs of convulsion. At sea is our new sea. For better and for worse, axioms and assumptions are dying everywhere around us. Such vertiginous hours always come with both clarities and confusions — there is no promise of illumination. The guidance we need in our circumstances will not be provided by the circumstances themselves: they are too many and too contradictory and too volatile; passion increasingly unconstrained and power increasingly unconstrained.

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