We are all not going anywhere. However, today’s stasis may just hide the beginnings of the journeys to come. The next journeys will be of community and change.
I don’t go anywhere. The study is my workplace. The local grocery stores are my only journeys. The next suburb seems like a wild & reckless adventure. Whether in lockdown or not, I don’t move as much and travel seems beyond conception. I have never been more located in place.
What I have lost is not the movement, I have lost the distraction of that travel. The frustration of the commute can be replaced with a walk around the block better understanding the neighbourhood after 20 years living here, discovering its secrets and coming to know those who are doing the same. All the early mornings, airport waiting, plane trips and transport, is now replaced with reflection, conversation and time to ponder the future. I am no longer distracting myself with rushing from A to B.
Reports suggest there may be waves of resignations to come as people consider anew what matters most to them in their work. Power imbalances at work have not shifted but labour markets have changed with the lack of international movement. There are other changes afoot as work attire is less formal, there is more personal discussion and we expose more of our lives. Back in 2020 I remember a commentator remarking that perhaps we better understand the Roaring Twenties now that we have had our own global pandemic to bring the importance of others and fragility of our lives to our attention. Our present time has its own real issues to address. Perhaps we will see our own Roaring Age to begin to address them. Our present stasis may be masking the real and enduring movements to come.
For now, I don’t move. I work and I talk and I find others who share an interest in change. My experience tells me that these conversations lead to communities and that communities lead to action. My world is changed more by those with whom I am meeting and working than by any journey up the Amazon or to the icy edges of the planet, however fragile those systems may be today. The work I need to do is not out there. It is here and with others.
The next journey is one of community and change.