This sort of thing has become more and more expected or anticipated over the decades I’ve been alive. When I was a child, seasons followed the patterns that the picture books laid out. Less and less every decade though, and the intervals grow shorter.
Change is the engine on which the universe runs, a well-oiled machine that only feels chaotic on account of our minute perspective. We know fuckall when it comes to the big picture, in which we are specks on a speck amid a countless array of whirling specks. Sure, we know some things— and more and more on a bell curve, it’s true.
But that rate at which new knowledge or empirical truths are folded into How We Live is depressingly slow. The fact that so many Americans deny Climate Change is one of many proofs, and it’s become dangerous that the economy is put before ecology at this point. Emperor’s clothes and all that.
We seek and find or impose patterns; have learned how to be human in increasingly complex fashions over epochs; follow a thread because we have history and we need what’s familiar. Footsteps follow footsteps. Even when it doesn’t work, doesn’t improve anything, or makes things worse. Change is difficult for living beings on this planet.
Think: humans have repeatedly embarked on war and genocide on account of fear and/or hatred of the unfamiliar; perceived danger; the other.
We are short-sighted, and in our fear and comfort-seeking wreak long-lasting damage for short-term results. This statement is a vector that can be applied at any scale without losing integrity. Try it. A few minutes or a few hundred years, doesn’t matter. We are, collectively, a wounded animal, cornered.
And we’re still terrified of the edge of the world where the ocean falls away forever, endlessly.