Saturday, March 19, 2011

the end of the world

By some reckonings, the world is scheduled to end on May 21. These reckonings suggest that everyone make their peace with the Christian God or risk ... well, you know the story. I'm not sure how these reckonings factor in 2012 -- the year in which others suggest the world will end. Is this competing apocalypses!? What about all the other predictions I know nothing about? Or, come to think of it, did the world end and I completely missed it?

Who doesn't like a horror movie or a good disaster to perk up a future that does not currently perk up the present? No place to hide, no place to run, no place to escape and it's not only awful but it will all occur in living color and 3-D ... no special glasses required. Of course (nod, wink), you could be saved all this agony with a fill-in-the-blank, get-out-of-jail-free card.

Whether factual or fabricated, there is no story about the end that does not include some reference to the beginning. What ends begins. What begins ends. These are the ingredients of all fact and fiction. What happens in between is juicy or juiceless depending on both the observer and the teller of tales. Will it be "lawsy! lawsy!" or "hallelujah!" or simply y-a-w-n?

My Zen teacher's teacher, Soen Nakagawa Roshi, once said, "There is birth and there is death. In between there is enlightenment." "Between" always struck me as an interesting word ... "between a rock and a hard place," "between heaven and hell," "between happy and sad," "between beginning and end." On the one hand, wherever you go, there you are. On the other hand, you are always "between" something and something else.

Well, I guess we'd all be well advised to line up our ducks before May 21 ... assuming we last that long. Between now and then's lions and tigers and bears -- oh my! But be of good cheer, between now and then, between birth and death, between the beginning and the end, there is still time to conjure up soaring heavens and searing hells.

We've been doing it a long time ... why stop now? :)

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