Sometimes I’m hit by a mad urge to capture everything at once. The traffic lights and dramas playing across the city on a Saturday night, the thousands of bulbs over kitchen tables, and the drowsy voice on the radio saying there’s light rain at the airport and temperatures will be holding steady throughout the evening. The sound of someone in the street laughing and saying, “How did we get like this?” A woman putting on eyeliner in a mirror, the way she looks so serious. “Another dead satellite will fall to Earth this weekend,” said a television in the other room. Silhouettes in yellow windows, freighters on the dark ocean, and all those other late-night sensations.

I try to keep my mind on these details rather than the headlines. But I need to get used to the fact that this isn’t just a difficult season that will soon pass. The daily lurching from the unthinkable to the disorienting is the new rhythm now, and the insults of 2020 will cascade and compound for a long time to come. I close my eyes and remind myself that growth is always painful and messy, and we will be better on the other side. Then I click on a headline that says, “You’re Probably Inhaling Microplastics Right Now.”