In his poetry collection “Refusing Heaven,” Jack Gilbert wrote:
We are a singularity that makes music out of noise
because we must hurry. We make a harvest of loneliness
and desiring in the blank wasteland of the cosmos.
This week, The Weekender wondered about the ways in which we consider ourselves unique and the ways in which we aren’t, actually, singular at all. We also asked questions about humanity as it stands in relation to the cosmos and about how best to organize ourselves to preserve the nations and ecosystems of which we are a part.
In her poem “New acquaintanceship,” Miranda suggests that we, and the relationships we form, might not be as special as we think they are, while Anusha wrote about filling herself up with the people she’s met throughout her life. Cate remembers the ways in which Maggie Nelson’s “Bluets” helped her challenge her own often narrow understandings of self and belonging, while Zara wrote about Kristen Roupenian’s “Cat Person” as a story that gave a singular voice to a sort of universal experience among women who date men.
Rochelle argues that the effects of the climate crisis will soon become irreversible and, comparing this to Vernor Vinge’s technological singularity, wrote that the warming of our planet should be considered a moment of singularity for our species in its own right. Lucas considered the ways in which more individualistic nations have failed in their coronavirus responses while more collectivist nations have met the pandemic with relative success, ending with how we should take our next steps forward.