time we didn’t know we needed

I’ve said many times this last year that quarantine was time we didn’t know we needed–almost as if God put humanity as a whole in time out. (“Go to your room and think about what you’ve done…”)

As a society, we’ve been forced to pause and reckon with many of our institutional shortcomings (for example, perhaps healthcare shouldn’t be tired to employment). I know people whose personal lives needed sorting out and others who were years behind on sleep. Speaking personally, I needed to slow down and be honest with myself about my art, my relationships, and my life as a whole.

I love the way this reflection on prayer by Nick Cave speaks to how necessary this time was for all of us:

By forcing us into isolation, [Covid] has dismantled our constructed selves, by challenging our presumed needs, our desires, and our ambitions and rendered us raw, essential and reflective. Our sudden dislocation has thrown us into a mystery that exists at the edge of tears and revelation, for none of us knows what tomorrow will bring.

Ultimately, we needed to be humbled as a species–to be made vulnerable, for the sake of bettering both our world and ourselves.

“In the end,” Cave concludes, “this vulnerability may be, for our planet and ourselves, our saving grace, as we step chastened into tomorrow.”

Amen to that.