Thursday, May 12, 2011

Nine Days and Counting, or Not

    Oakley and I found a new-to-us trail at a local forest preserve. It's the right length for an eight month old puppy to drag walk his guardian and be relatively calm afterwards. In between pulling sticks and dandelions from his jaws rested moments of unity with the natural world, moments of eye contact with does, the scent of pines warmed by the sun, the soft haze in the sky.
    Home again. Checked Facebook, and saw several links to stories about the new date of the end of the world, May 21, 2011. At least that's how the people at a small fundamentalist radio network see it.
     I hate to tell them this, but Jesus was supposed to return when I was in college. Living some 20 miles from a military base with nukes makes it a bit easier to believe, and when one of your roommates goes to a church into prophesies, well, at the least it makes you wonder.
     Wonder I did, indeed. We had Reagan baiting the then USSR, throwing Cold War rhetoric over the fence like so many Molitov cocktails. At the time, I first thought, "screw school; if I die, I'm dying by the lake." I still got through with a B average. And got mixed up with a manipulative, needy, emotionally abusive piece of work because I was so scared of dying without a man in my life. And went for a time to a church in the denomination of my childhood with a pastor who was kinky for end-of-time theology.
   The Spouse is of a very different religious background than me. The pastor acted as if I had become engaged to a child molester or worse when I asked if he'd be willing to perform the service. I knew that my leave taking from conventional religion had arrived.
    It's taken a lot of time to undo the damage and not have a cold thread of dread crawl through me when natural disasters or wars break out. One of my Facebook comrades observed that the people who believe in this prophecy must be pretty miserable if they want to just walk away from everything, or get swept up by a greater force.
     How much damage is being done by this escape hatch fantasy? Not just in terms of giving up on life on this side, but to relationships?
     I know that there are two people out there whom I hurt deeply by getting involved with the above-mentioned piece of work, and "I'm sorry" doesn't begin to cover it.
    Time and nature are the great healers, for me, anyway. After spring will come summer, et al. And then the ball will keep rolling along.

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