The Dual Consciousness of 2020

We've never been more aware of things on the biggest and smallest scales in our lives.

The Dual Consciousness of 2020

2020 has created a dual consciousness in us. On one hand, we’ve never been more aware of the big things far greater than our immediate sphere of influence: an invisible and deadly virus that moves silently and swiftly, 400 years of institutional racism, the specter of climate change.

But on the other hand, we’ve zoomed into our immediate spheres of influence and focused on the small and the tangible: we baked bread, we built raised-bed gardens, we used our hands to work on projects around the house, we placed ourselves in a tight web of family and friends.

I’ve noticed how I’ve shifted between this dual consciousness, rising and dropping between elevations: at one moment trying to grasp my own place and complicity in systemic white supremacy, and then the next doing extensive research into why the cauliflower in my vegetable garden remained stunted and small all season.

I’ve thought about this at Uncharted as well. There is so much to do at the highest level, but I’ve also never been more curious about the close-in work: the way we relate, how we coordinate, the daily methods of showing up for each other, the routines of celebration, the rhythms of feedback, our collective relationship to discomfort.

But ultimately this might be a false dichotomy: the close-in and the far-out are one and the same. Audre Lorde one said, “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.”