Last night I woke up to tornado sirens. Wind rattled the walls and lightning filled our flat like a thousand camera flashes. We stood by the window and watched the howling dark, even though this isn’t what you should do in a tornado. On the local news, the weather people nervously discussed a map of angry red streaked with purple. Tornados in February were not normal, they said. But I’m learning to give up on normal. Global heat records have been shattered for the ninth month in a row.

When the Atlantic washes over Interstate 95, will a new age of miracles be upon us? Will we conjure new gods to console us or continue to relitigate the beliefs from the past? American politics have taken the place of religion, always a scary sign, but there will be no miracles there. The candidates for president match the moment: exhausted and deranged. What comes after that?

As the world becomes more uncertain, are we easy marks for grifters, opinion merchants, and faith dealers? “Philosophy is no longer the pillar of fire going before a few intrepid seekers after truth,” wrote Bertrand Russell in 1946. “It is rather an ambulance following in the wake of the struggle for existence and picking up the weak and wounded.” Will the future deliver a new Vishnu or Buddha or Jesus Christ or Muhammad? Perhaps they’re already out there, asking you to subscribe to their newsletter.

I crave more mystery, more distance and shadow and myth. Today’s televisions come with a ‘motion smoothing’ effect that transforms movies into a nauseating hyperreal. I do not need 120 frames per second when the eye requires only 12 frames per second to imagine motion. It’s good to have a bit of chop and static, some fog on the stage.