From the belly of the pandemic, I spent time trying to give shape and language to the powers, fears and desires that grip us at this threshold. My thoughts became a map. I think it holds beyond and before the pandemic.
I’ll unpack it a bit.
The first dichotomy – the horizontal axis – occurred as soon as lockdown number one began. It is between:
Business as Usual – Relinquishment & Renewal
…Between those who want the old powers and systems back in effect as soon as possible, and those who see an opportunity to re-imagine another way of living. Familiar towers of Babel vs mythical Trees of Life. This roughly followed the right/left divide.
The second dichotomy – the vertical – emerged subtly afterwards, and caused much confusion for a time. It is between:
Management of Life
…Between our desire for structures that guarantee safety (health services, laws, government, shared moral frameworks etc), and our desire for the freeing encounter with unmanaged wildness. Keys to city vs The wilderness experience. This split the right/left divide: At the extreme north were States-persons of both right and left. At the extreme south both libertarians and anarchists.
These two axes divide up the map into four areas, around which we find ourselves in all kinds of dizzying movement. The arrows reveal my bias. Its a messianic map, reaching toward the world healed and resolved of its present contradictions.
The four images of the quadrant: the tower, the key, the wolf and the tree are the images that make up the song Home:
I could say more, and I will when I have time. For now I’d just like to pass on the frame, to be pondered and used and re-interpreted.
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Yours, going Easterly