Back to Normal?

The pattern is continuous
so it should not seem strange
the only constant in our lives
is that things always change
we can’t go back to normal
and we never will because
there’s no such thing as normal
and, in fact, there never was

I wrote that today in response to a post about what life will be like after the quarantine. In fact, I think it will go back to pretty close to normal, if you’re defining normal as the way things were before. There are some inevitable changes, like for instance everybody knows a situation like this can happen, and people will be a bit more paranoid and maybe stocked up with dried foods.
But there’s a truth in the poem that goes beyond the current situation. You can’t step in the same river twice, you can never truly go home again. I saw an ad for Joe Biden today, which contained not one bit of policy, or even one bit of Biden speaking. It was all voice over, and it was all platitudes, but it seems the big issue he is running on is a return to normal.
Well, normal’s not good enough. Normal sucks. Normal is a world in which some people own yachts and private planes and others are struggling to make their monthly rent. Normal is a world in which we drop million dollar bombs from billion dollar aircraft on people who make nearly nothing, just because the weapons manufacturers need to stay in business. Normal is a world in which we are burning the rain forest rather than saving it, building oil pipelines rather than wind turbines and solar panels, and still sending most of our garbage to landfills.
Normal is not only an unattainable thing (because the river keeps flowing and every time you step into it, it is a completely new river), it is an undesirable thing. We need to embrace change.
Or die.

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