Photographs. Anecdotes. And observations on Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Confronting "The End Times."

The hoop-la behind ideas of the Apocalypse are mentally trying for me. The thought of those giving up their jobs to sit on street corners boasting the end times as if it were a party not to be missed. The man who, leading up to May 21st, 2011, invested $140,000 of his own money in signage warning of the imminent dooms day this past month. And every other poor soul obsessed (at what seems to be a cyclic 7 to 8 year period) with the end of the world as we know it. I'm beginning to believe that this fear is some innate sense passed down from generation to generation: a more tangible answer to the unfeeling/uncaring cosmos that we are spiraling within straight towards our death. Yes, death is meaningless. But all those years building up to our personal introduction to nothingness are ripe for human substance: To love. To experience. To share.

To confront these overwhelming thoughts, the poem below has offered years of solace.



On the day the world ends

A bee circles a clover,
A fisherman mends a glimmering net.
Happy porpoises jump in the sea,
By the
rainspout young sparrows are playing
And the snake is gold-skinned as it should always be.

On the day the world ends
Women walk through the fields under their umbrellas,
A drunkard grows sleepy at the edge of a lawn,
Vegetable peddlers shout in the street
And a yellow-sailed boat comes nearer the island,
The voice of a violin lasts in the air
And leads into a starry night.

And those who expected lightning and thunder
Are disappointed.
And those who expected signs and archangels' trumps
Do not believe it is happening now.
As long as the sun and the moon are above,
As long as the bumblebee visits a rose,
As long as rosy infants are born
No one believes it is happening now.

Only a white-haired old man, who would be a prophet
Yet is not a prophet, for he's much too busy,
Repeats while he binds his tomatoes:
No other end of the world will there be,
No other end of the world will there be.

-Czeslaw Milosz

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