It’s still dark outside. From under the curtains, a sliver of light cracks through the darkness. The frayed heave of traffic rolls forward, decibel after decibel, until it forms a dull rumble, the background score to days here. In this city. Curtains drawn open. Sunlight traces a stark line across the room, bisecting everything into lightness and darkness. A galaxy of microscopic particles float mystically, suspended in the golden glow. At once, random and sublime.

Adrift in the currents of the world, you look – at times frantically, at times hopefully – for the ground to reappear under your feet. You count down to the day when all this waiting in limbo will be behind you, when hindsight allows you to look back at this incoherent train of events and make meaning of it. You wait for the day, you wait for the day.

Joan Didion wrote “We tell ourselves stories in order to live”. What’s the story you’ll tell yourself? Is it driven by the force of narrative or the conscious will of the protagonist?

But the days are still here, and time, still yours. You remember the days you so long for, but you can now also re-member your days – gathering the pieces of what makes you feel alive, and re-imagining them here in stillness. Slowly, you put the pieces together, re-membering until you arrive – by some mix of fate and design – at a life of meaning that makes sense for now.

Stillness is a door through which the unrelenting force of time’s passing can be tricked into slowing down. As you no longer rush to fill the empty spaces of your day, you befriend each moment, coaxing it to reveal its secrets. It allows you to examine the gestalt of each day, to split it apart and elongate it, allowing yourself to sink your teeth deep into the details. The way the light turns on the walls of your living room, the smells of a good meal wafting from the kitchen. When you let go of the desire to be elsewhere, what does the here and now offer you in inspiration?

Have you noticed that the sky turns pink before a thunderstorm?

Isolation is a central condition to modern life. It’s ironic, for all of the technology that has made the world much smaller and more connected, each of us is simultaneously more disconnected from our immediate present. The ability to escape into virtual worlds filled with instant gratification is the allure of today. Far more alluring than slowing down to notice – notice the way light falls, to fully engage with the person beside you, to enjoy something purely for its own sake.

What if this is an opportunity? What if there’s something profound to be had?

The world as we knew it has fallen silent. Silence is feared because of its power to reveal truths, its demands of authenticity and courage from us. Yes, the forecast is uncertain, but you are free. You are free to drop the weight of convention and status quo from your back and embrace existence in all its mystery and beauty. To pause and take the pen back, to write the rest of your story with your own hand. The thing with the unknown is this: it’s difficult and uncomfortable, but there’s vast power contained in hope and possibility.

There’s space now, away from the technicolour stimulations of twenty first century living. You can wrench yourself away – even slightly – from this cacophony and choose stillness. Choose, in this season, to let yourself be carried not by the force of lack and fear but by curiosity and wonder for the simple world of your childhood, once much loved and subsequently left behind.

“There is nothing to do but wait, for one thing to become another.” – Rachel Cusk

Except there’s much to be seen, experienced, indeed celebrated as one world becomes another. This fleeting pause in the wave of life means many things to each of us. But if you choose to walk into the stillness, to bathe in it and examine it, to give in to our senses and reconnect with what it means to be alive.

The forecast is unclear, but you are here and each moment is yours to claim.

Amidst the rumble of the traffic, you listen closely and hear the lilting tunes of a flock of parrots. You can now name five birds native to Singapore.