The Day After the Day After the World Did not End

And I remembered how Earth is a heavy teacher yet is so much loved by the creator of planetary beings. I did not want to leave mystery, yet I was ever curious and ready to take my place in the story.”

~From Crazy Brave, a Memoir by Joy Haro

The world did not end with the Mayan calendar. Or when the odometer turned from 1999 to 2000. Or whenever else it has been predicted to end. There are no end times with apocalyptic endings for some, while others get carried, their bodies still intact, to a heavenly place where they will no longer have to suffer being human, yet still be in possession of their human body.

My favorite take on the end of the world was Maureen Dowd’s opining that it never came at a time that worked in her favor, like while she was staring at the empty computer screen trying to come up with what to write for her column.

End times do seem comforting when faced with writer’s block. Saved by the apocalypse or the dog eating your homework.

There are some who think we must become worthy of god’s love. Or those who say god loves us in spite of our human frailties. But we have to submit to that view if we want to be carried, our body intact, to a heavenly place when end times come.

But that is not my experience of god. I think god is in awe of our being human—that we love imperfectly and with no guarantee that our loving another won’t shatter us—yet we love nevertheless.

I said in my last post that for the residents of Newtown, the world as they knew it ended. For them, the apocalypse came to be. They loved and were shattered by losing those they loved.

Their pain and sorrow rippled through the world. Gave pause.

So in some ways, the world as we know it did come to an end, a week before the Mayan calendar ended.

And so it is time to create a new world, write a new story for our world.

I think Wayne LaPierre is a raving lunatic. His take on the story is to arm everyone to the hilt. In my opinion, he is delusional, living in a paranoid world where monsters lurk and we are armed monster killers. He assumes that we will recognize the monster, and never be guilty of mistaken identity.

He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”

~Fredrich Nietzsche

He also says that the American people are on his side because we value freedom. I hate when people use that word “freedom” so loosely. Freedom from what I want to ask? Freedom from fear is usually what I think. Guns never come to mind when I think of freedom from fear.

But maybe that’s just me.

I started the Writing Shed to change my story. I think really what I was doing was finding my story—the story that is mine to live. And my story is about freedom from fear. That doesn’t mean never being afraid, never feeling fear. It means not letting fear drive me. Not letting fear of mortality keep me from living. Not letting fear turn me into a pitiless monster.

The pitiless monster might be just around the bend. It could be the crazy person carrying a gun, cancer invading my body or the body of someone I love, a drunk armed with a car killing me or someone I love. There is no end to the guise the pitiless monster might take.

So I choose to cherish my life and make the most out of it. The carrot for me is not that I will be taken at the end time, body intact, to a place that has always seemed vague and not really very interesting to me.

The carrot for me is living, to find my story in the story of the “Earth that is a heavy teacher yet is so much loved by the creator of planetary beings.”

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