In the long run nothing is normal. Even in the moment it is only a pleasant useful illusion that allows us to smooth out the chaotic flow of infinite events.

I am as guilty as anyone, of course. And in the short run it is often applicable and helpful. But I know how things change. When I was much younger I needed diapers and could not speak. In the future I may be so again. But right now it is normal for me to use bathrooms and talk too much.

Trying to apply normal to concepts is even more tenuous. What is normal climate or geological drift, or species distribution? What is normal hawk behavior? Most of the time such uses of normal become so encrusted with exceptions that they hardly serve a valid purpose. I do know it is absolutely insane to set any normal as a goal. We can never “get back to normal.” We can never “make things more normal.” It is a vapid politicized slogan promising fog and smoke.

Most people crave a certain level of security and stability, especially in routine daily life. Finding that things tend to repeat in certain ways most of the time becomes what we consider normal. And we are often upset when that inevitably changes.

Normal in our frantic existence is never normal for long.

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