Photo by T, Sunset on 1st January 2022
It is January and I do not know whether I should wish you all Happy New Year.
A day into 2022, and for the first time in my life, I wondered whether cheery HNY messages and texts could trigger their recipients. I went on a rather frigid evening run that day to clear my head of some upsetting news (minor in the larger scheme of things) I received on new year’s eve. Then I sent Happy New Year messages to friends and acquaintances who wished me first, and some others who I thought would get my intent and forgive me, even if my message exuded the wrong kind of vibe.
While the pandemic had never really become a thing of the past–notwithstanding how many times the media in countries like the US tried to conjure a ‘post-pandemic world’ in 2021–the year-end omicron-surge vehemently punched holes into any happy picture.
If we insist on using ‘post-pandemic’ now, then we ought to understand that the post in post-pandemic, much like the post in postcolonial, means something like “as a consequence of the pandemic” and not after the pandemic. It is a prefix denoting causality rather than the linear movement of time.
In March 2020 I thought our lives were going to be on hold until the pandemic ended. The truth is nothing has been or can be on hold. We have moved, even though none of us may have fully moved on from how we felt at the onset of the crisis.
P.’s newsletter this month thinks through the paradoxes of our times. Coming soon to your inbox.
I feel reassured by hearing that you too have thought about wishing people HNY. It just seems so off a choice of words, laden with assumptions. This is not the first time I have felt that. I wish there was a better way. I took to a mouthful of wishing people a warm and healthy holiday season and new year ahead. As for on hold. It never ceases to amaze me just how much living can be done even when time is ruptured and disrupted. The only way is through... Here is to hoping for a kinder and gentler year, with more knowns than unknown.