But this is also a time of depth for those spending more time at home and more time alone, looking outward at this unanticipated world. We often divide emotions into good and bad, happy and sad, but I think they can equally be divided into shallow and deep, and the pursuit of what is supposed to be happiness is often a flight from depth, from one’s own interior life and the suffering around us – and not being happy is often framed as a failure. But there is meaning as well as pain in sadness, mourning and grief, the emotions born of empathy and solidarity. If you are sad and frightened, it is a sign that you care, that you are connected in spirit. If you are overwhelmed – well, it is overwhelming, and it will take decades of study, analysis, discussion and contemplation to understand how and why 2020 suddenly took us all into marshy new territory.
A Time of Depth