Day 101: Meaning-making

03/07/2020

Day 101

Daily writing is suffering. On the upside, there is a great deal of learning and discovery happening these days. As with most new behaviours, it takes effort in the beginning and then there is a tipping point after which it gains stability and is likely to stick. With writing, the change in these hundred days is about the drive to write at the end of each day. There is a constant thought running in the head throughout that day must end with writing. It rained around the villages this morning. To wake up around 4 AM and drive out with the cycles to the farm takes effort. But on most days, it feels totally worth it. It is an uplifting start everyday. Maybe, there are no deeper meanings. From the perspective of these days meanings are undergoing a recheck. Re-interpretation as well . What do wishes, aims, goals desires mean? Is meaning a necessary condition for a pursuit to be worth our while? If yes, then these pandemic days are leading us to re-interpret meanings that were ascribed to most things in our lives. The fact that your city hospitals may not have a bed for you should you need in these times is causing anxiety among many. Especially, when the belief that we are in control of our lives is shattering. There is absolutely no control that can be exercised on one’s own material and life outcome through this pandemic. What does it mean then to have tried hard through the adult years to create a comfortable life for oneself? It comes to a naught. Minor realizations over these days can have an epiphanic effect. I read that cycle sales have had a massive spike internationally. Manufacturers have ran out of stock and are struggling to meet demand. What has the world suddenly woken up to, that many want to buy a cycle and get out riding? Our calendared lives are emptying out, creating air pockets of time that we do not know what to do with. It is swinging differently for those who see it as running out and with the pervasive spirit of uncertainty they might as well spend it on activities that matter now. 

Often, these daily entries are speculative and assume an unsolicited role of interpreter. Meaning-making is an interesting process in the way it gets influenced. We had the philosophers over centuries interpreting the meaning of life. It is Covid-19 now, triggering the same search for some. Those who are busy finding answers will find their own versions of 42 (Deep Thought’s response in Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy). Those who  are struggling to cope with the life-altering changes that the pandemic days have dealt them, it is likely to spin differently. For now, fascination is a privilege. The hedonism of early days has dissipated into fatigue, saturation or a general tapering of enthusiasm driven by the fact that the inconvenience of the pandemic has lasted longer than they expected. 

In the continuum of mulling over the way these days are going, I am reading on a wider-than-before range of topics, from plant breeding, management, sports to mechanics. Nick Grossman on Slow Hunch referred to the idea of ‘slow hunch’ developed by Steven Johnson. This was said in the context of his work at USV. The understanding that ‘Great discoveries often evolve as slow hunches, maturing and connecting to other ideas over time’ seems more relevant in the current time. The many little hunches from these days will possibly lead to a transformative set of ideas in the future. In this hope can be vested a new meaning of what it means to be living this pandemic. 

2 thoughts on “Day 101: Meaning-making

  1. Wise, as ever. This pandemic has left so many desperate, with little control if any over their fates. But among others it is heartening to see how enthusiastically cycling, running and walking have been embraced (and disheartening to see how many defiantly refuse to adjust their behaviours). Reading widely, remaining open to possibility is critical whenever life places us in circumstances we had not anticipated.

    1. Well said. I have felt similar in these weeks. We like the idea of being in control. Only for this year to shake us up on that and dip life into unprecedented levels of anxiety, despair and uncertainty. As you say, we had not anticipated.

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