Do you ever have that experience where something you’ve known for a long time suddenly hits you as it’s never hit you before? That happened to me this weekend. Here’s what set it off.
Every few days another huge chunk of ice seems to break off from Antarctica. Last week, for example, the Wilkins Ice Shelf broke off on Monday. That’s a lump of ice the size of Jamaica. Then on Thursday came news that the Wordie Ice Shelf had disappeared.
Normally I read this stuff and feel generally concerned, but in a vague, unfocused way. This time, somehow, it was different. I just had this image of the Earth seen from afar, with time sped up so that you see the whole of Antarctica just breaking up and melting into the sea in a few seconds. And meanwhile I’m scurrying around writing my blog posts and plugging my book as if nothing bad is happening, and the whole world is focusing on what colour dress Michelle Obama is wearing. It just struck me that we are all absolutely insane.
Then the moment passed, and I went back to the normal ‘vague generic anxiety but nothing much I can do’ mode, and once again I felt able to participate in daily life. I have a sneaking feeling, though, that the brief feeling of utter insanity might be closer to reality.