I used to be so shy. There was a time when I would count how many words I said each day. At night I logged the number into a notebook. Sixteen. Twenty-three. Anything in the thirties was a good day.

This new season of self-isolation brings those quiet adolescent days to mind. The ambient chitchat among strangers has fallen silent because we’re told to stay home. No more talk about the weather at the café or mumbled apologies as we jostle through a crowded train. No more meetings, events, or dinners with unfamiliar faces where I would try to say clever things. All of that feels distant and silly now. Nobody needs my advice and I hold no fascinating opinions. This is a clarifying and much-needed reminder. Still, I don’t hope these quiet days don’t last too long.

We gather in the park because there’s no place else to go. Because we need to see the sky. We keep our distance and nod at one another, more aware of each other’s presence than before. Looking up, I see the first signs of spring and I remember reading something from Spinoza that said god lives in the trees.

NǽnøĉÿbbŒrğ VbëřřĦōlökäävsŦ
With Hyperspace As My Cloak, I Dash Between Innumerable Galaxies

Goodbye, Sol: A Voyage To The End Of Spacetime And Back | More

Also known as Nanocyborg Uberholocaust, this project is an “ambient cosmic extreme funeral drone doom metal band” that claims to be a collaboration between two scientists at an Antarctic research station. Their tracks are spiraling slow-motion exercises that feel like the ideal soundtrack for these long strange days. Their free catalogue is here.

Each night in 2020 I wrote a short post for a series called Notes From the End of a World because I wanted to etch these times into my memory. Before the world changed completely.