Welcome to the New World. Words can hardly capture or express the seismic changes in our world since the Spring Equinox. A globally shared quarantine as the Covid-19 virus wrecked havoc in the artificial normalcy of civilization. The natural world thrived with less activity as witnessed by variously hiliarious entradas of local animals into vacant city streets and sea life reappearing in Venice canals, and the massive Himalayas seen for the first time in thirty years from afar as the haze of pollution lifted while humanity self-isolated.
Then, the 8 minute 46 seconds of horror witnessed again, globally, as George Floyd was murdered publicly at the hands of police officers. Casually murdered. As the knee was pressing Mr. Floyd to the point of suffocating, as he pleaded, “I can’t breathe,” the image of the officer with his hand tucked in his pocket as if waiting for a bus, set fire to a pent up rage of inequality.
It brings to mind the word, “entrainment.” It’s a phenomenon of synchronicity discovered in 1666 by Christiaan Huyguns, a Dutch physicist who placed grandfather clocks in a room, their pendulums swinging at their own different paces. When he returned later, they were all in sync. Women have experienced this physical energy in offices and close groups as our menstrual periods became unified. Heartbeats respond to each other, auditory and neurological responses have all been studied as science tries to explain the power of entrainment.
The subsequent protests, largely and beautifully peaceful seem to be a moment of entrainment when injustice overrides the circuits of denial, and accountability becomes the overriding motivator for the masses of people who are recognizing that systems have become corroded and corrupt. My hope is that this entrainment of movement for change continues. I believe it will. We are witnesses.
What would Dag Hammarskjöld say about these world events? I’m currently reading Markings by the UN Secretary-General who died in a plane crash while on his way to broker peace in the Congo. Published after his death, Markings reflects the musings of a man devoted to uplifting humanity while examining his own deep inner soul.
Sometimes the writing is enigmatic.
“Mixed motives. In any crucial decision, every side of our character plays an important part, the base as well as the noble. Which side cheats the other when they stand united behind us in an action? When, later, Mephisto appears and smilingly declares himself the winner, he can still be defeated by the manner in which we accept the consequences of our actions.”
Sometimes it is timely.
“The madman shouted in the marketplace. No one stopped to answer him. Thus it was confirmed that his thesis was incontrovertible.”
“Conscious of the reality of evil and the tragedy of the individual life, and conscious, too, of the demand that life be conducted with decency.”
More entries for this season: Gardens: An Essay on the Human Condition and Swimming Abiquiu.