Unless you’re lucky, just getting through the night is foremost on many people’s minds right now. A twenty degree drop from what are frigid enough temperatures under sunlight; the absence of heat and light–these things will narrow one’s perspective of the world pretty significantly. And the prolonged absence of them? Well, that could easily make the idea of voting for a better world seem like a task best left to those whose worlds are well-lit and warm. Feeling the importance of the infrastructure that supports even a diluted version of light and heat is pretty startling.
There’s all these myths about the beginning of civilization starting with something more than human stealing fire from its peers to give to us saps. A large swath of human beings all over the world couldn’t fathom a human origin for harnessing fire–this divine thing that, however it might burn you, kept you from freezing to death and added a much richer dimension to life. And it is quite hard to imagine the first human being(s) whom thought to utilize it. Maybe it meant braving lightning as it struck the ground, which had to have seemed completely and utterly terrifying. But what resulted in one instance was better than the cold, and someone got that. Then, all that’s so much easier to do when you’re not freezing.
However it came about, people got there, and it was so hard to get that, after the fact, no one could imagine anyone like themselves having done it.
For the past decade, films and books chronicling life post-civilization have been enormously popular. In these works of fiction, life is cold, harsh, and always under assault by unfeeling beings. I think people who are struggling like to see that, in the absence of the infrastructure for humanity as we’ve come to know it, people struggling just to get by can still do that incredibly hard thing of being more than that. You know, keep the light going.
By the end of today, I’m hoping that’s the case. More light and heat all around.