"Let us not be ashamed to speak what we shame not to think."
-Michel de Montaigne

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

OF: The Apocalypse

What shall we do on December 21st when the 13th Baktun, and thus the world as we know it, ends according to the Mayan long calendar?

Shall we drink in anticipation?

Shall we move our families into caves?

Shall we pray?

Shall we do anything at all?

For the record, I do not think that'll happen, but I've always been completely fascinated by apocalyptic literature--particularly the Book of Revelation--ever since I was a young child. Which, in retrospect, makes complete and total sense given the kind of childhood I had.

There is an almost clinical satisfaction in destruction, particularly when it matches our inner turmoil or repressed desires or needs.

What I mean is, there seems to be a fundamental human need to watch/experience/contemplate/enact destruction. I used to think this was because human nature was inherently evil, but I see it now as part of a perpetual, unconscious push for rebirth. Spiritually. Economically. Intellectually. Environmentally.

Meanwhile: things and people die. Meanwhile: whatever was safe, or at least known to us is gone. I used to think that was bad, negative.

Apocalypse (n): from the Latin word apocalypsis meaning "revelation," and before that from Greek word apokalyptein meaning "to uncover, disclose, reveal."

Imagine: apocalypse as knowledge, as revelation, as a great uncovering of Truth. In that way there is joy in destruction, hope in destruction. For Christians, it is the hope of Christ to returning to earth. For Secularists, perhaps, it is the hope of a world free from the historical tyrannies of religion. Perhaps I sound like an idiot, but this all interests me nonetheless.

I've been a woman possessed with thinking about the end. The end of 'US'. The end of U.S. The end of bees and polar bears and the Redwood trees in California and bananas and Alaskan permafrost and ozone and Wall Street and love and debt and potable drinking water and reproductive rights and marriage and American world dominance and racial inequality and income inequality and gender inequality and pandemic diseases and poetry and poetry and poetry. All of it comes to die inside my thoughts these days.

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