Unspectacular Apocalypse


 

Maybe the rapture did arrive on May 21st, as predicted by Christian radio host Harold Camping…

If the event went unnoticed…

…that’s because so very few of us made the grade.

If we checked, we might find a slight rise in missing persons reports for that day.  But overall, the population loss was not significant.

We were probably too caught up in our own little worlds to pay much attention to those being caught up.

No, you and I were not among the blessed few.  Now we, the unworthy, will have to redeem ourselves by saving the life of the human race on this planet.

I think the monstrous dragons have already arrived—they are monsters of our own making.  Thus, they will be even more difficult to combat and will become ever bigger the longer we procrastinate.

To paraphrase that famous quote from cartoonist Walt Kelly: we have met the anti-Christ and he is us.

You think you know yourself, but then one day, you look in the mirror and see the mark of the beast.

To be honest, I’m glad we can now stop waiting around and get down to business.  I’ve waited so long for the Apocalypse to arrive…

Years ago, when I was a boy attending Sunday School, we were told it was right around the corner.

Our teacher knew he could always get our attention by talking of the end times.

Scripture seemed to support what he said: all signs pointed to the hell fire of the final days.

With a knowing look, he’d repeat the phrase, “ye shall hear of wars and rumors of war”.

Living under the red cloud of the Vietnam era, we could see that Biblical prophecy was indeed coming true.

Truth is, we boys wanted to witness the Apocalypse.  We wanted the excitement.

We wanted The Four Horsemen to gallop down the main street of our small Arkansas town.

I think Camping, and the many doomsayers who’ve come before him, play off this desire for excitement—a desire shared by those of all ages.  The End of Days would sure beat the tedium of the 9 to 5 routine.

But I also believe that, in general, we feel as if we’re sitting on—or in—a pressure cooker and have been for some time.  We feel that, sooner or later, something’s gotta give…

In such a state of mind, we might secretly wish for the relief that comes when the worst actually does happen.

So perhaps you now feel let down, knowing that the Apocalypse has arrived in such unspectacular fashion.  The beginning of the end has come, but without much relief, without much drama.

Instead of the hoped-for darkness and upheaval, we’re faced with the prospect of rolling up our sleeves and getting down to the serious work of fixing this place—fixing ourselves.

But despite this prospect, I’m glad I wasn’t among the few who ascended…

…because though the end times may seem somewhat tedious…

…I believe the cooker will eventually break open—and maybe sooner rather than later.

It’s not that I like the type of excitement that comes from destruction, no…

…it’s that I’d rather be in the fray than be staring down from above.  I’d rather be doing what I can to help create a positive outcome.

Yes, this may be the End of Days…

…but doesn’t every ending bring a new beginning?

I believe our new beginning will mark an end to some old destructive ways.  But don’t think of me as some Pollyanna—we’ll change because we’ll have to.

© 2011, Michael R. Patton
dreaming steps

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About Michael Patton

I am a poet, novelist, essayist, cartoonist, graphic artist, peace miller, new mythologist, and fledgling world citizen.... I grew up in Northwest Arkansas and have lived and worked all over the United States.... I'm self-taught, for the most part--which is like searching for the right door in the dark. It's an on-going process.... I don't want to write MY story, I want OUR story, so that's what I'm studying: the human story: past, present, future, in its many aspects--including the spiritual. I'm proceeding at a slow crawl.... I don't see the inner world and outer world as separate. By learning about myself, I learn about others, I learn about my world.... Conversely, as I struggle to understand what I see OUT THERE, I learn about myself.... But to be clear: I don't claim any special understanding. I'm still purblind, still only half-awake.... After frustrating experience with the publisher of my first novel, I've published on my own, beginning with e-books, with plans to move into print and audio. Even video.... Along with a second novel, I've now published eight books of poetry. Each poetry book focuses on a theme. For instance, the collection GLORIOUS TEDIOUS TRANSFORMATION is about the slow difficult wonderful process of change.... In that book, as with all my work, I try to be accessible to a general audience, while also striving to achieve a certain literary quality.
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