AS IF

Time is a much more complicated dimension, though. Stretched between the daily chores and the external pressures, time is vibrating. As we have lost, abruptly, our connections with the service economy, welfare, education together with the multiple ties with the outer world, we had to provide ourselves most of the tasks. We started again cleaning our home, parenting full-time, cooking, taking care of our body and soul, while from the outer world we’ve received constant requests to do things ‘as if’. As if, for instance, the world we knew so far would just start over again, with the same rhythm, activities, doings and thinking. As if the economy will recover just the (crappy) way it was. As if our interactions will recover, not harmed by the virus of mutual distrust and suspicion. As if our wellbeing will be as before, no matter if   we are losing people or health is changing. As if.

Well, I have the feeling that we might take this time for a chance of reconsidering time itself, and to reframe what is space and our connection to it. There is no ‘as if’. We really don’t know what the world will be in one day or so, needless to say in one year from now.

This opens up for multiple feelings, from melancholia to depression, from excitement to euphoria. Our soul tries to provide a meaning to the vibrations of our time, channeling our hopes and expectations to meet our fears and suspects. 

I work on urban spaces and was about to leave Italy for a short sabbatical in California. My project was to write a book on public spaces and the contemporary anxiety for sanitized and livable, open and public, spaces. I will not move from my apartment, I will not write a new book, and probably the notion of open and public space we have known  so far will be challenged with unprecedented force.

We cannot think and act as if the world was the same as 2019. It is not, it will be not. We desperately need time to think and strength to resist the pressure of doing things as usual.