Monday, March 28, 2011


So, yes, the reason why I haven't been writing for the past three months or so is because The World has been dark and cold and stupid. (And icy!) But now it is Daylight Savings Time, and suddenly my outlook is much sunnier. (Although it is still really quite cold here in Illinois.)

The one item that I bought while in New York City that was neither edible nor drinkable was a collection of essays by Joan Didion, Slouching Towards Bethlehem. I bought it at The Strand. I really love Didion, and am actually quite embarrassed that I'd never heard of her before last year. Anyways, she got me really thinking about The End of Days - the eponymous essay in her book is about the sense of the Apocalypse in San Francisco in 1968, and takes its title in turn from the W.B. Yeats poem, "The Second Coming," - and it seems to me that The World is always and forever ending.

I mean, take 1968 as an example. Boy, the World was really ending them. Riots, rock and roll, LSD, Russian tanks invading Prague. Only an idiot would ignore those signs. Yeats wrote his poem in 1919; that, I believe was right after the World had just finished ending. In 1941, the World was ending for everybody except the Nazis. After the stock market crashed on October 29, 1929, eleven men decided that the World was close enough to ending for them, so they killed themselves. And that's just in the 20th Century! What about the Civil War, the French Revolution, the Black freakin' Death?!?! Those all seem like reasonable, rational times to believe that The End Is Nigh.

Robyn said something very wise to me the other day, something that I wish I could remember the exact wording to, but cannot. She said that the World is always ending, and new Worlds are always being made. And I don't want to trivialize the matter by saying something like, "We always say the World is going to end, but it never does..." No, the World is ending, is constantly ending, has always and forever been ending...

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