Are Things Falling Apart?

The first time Colorado seeped into my consciousness was a few weeks before my college graduation in 1999. That was the horror known as the Columbine massacre. A few days after graduation, BFF Katie and I flew to the UK for 2 glorious weeks. Unexpectedly, I found myself arguing with cab drivers over the 2nd Amendment. A proponent of gun control AND the 2nd Amendment (life in the South can be odd, y’all), I was surprised to encounter debate on my country’s laws although after months of school shootings, I probably should not have been. I do remember replying tartly to one particularly exasperating cab driver that attitudes like his were exactly why my country broke away from his. There I go, conducting foreign relations with aplomb!

By now I’m sure we all have heard about the shooting in Aurora in the theater of the latest Batman movie. I’m shocked and appalled. I’ve always felt a bit claustrophobic in theaters, and I feel sick thinking of what the victims endured and their terror. All because they innocently wanted to see the latest GD Batman movie. It defies logic.

But it goes deeper than that. I know each generation believes that the world is ending soon and that future generations will be very altered. Humanity has shaken its collective head and clucked for centuries that the world is surely ending when the incident du jour happens.

I don’t know. All I know is that life feels weird lately. The planet feels weird and out of control.

Maybe it’s because it is 2012. Maybe we’re all going a little crazy as we anticipate December and whether the Mayan calendar’s promise will be upheld.

I keep thinking about Yeats’ poem “The Second Coming,” written during a time when the world had good reason to believe the end was near:

“Things fall apart; the center cannot hold/
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world.”

And later:

“And what rough beast, its hour come round at last/
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born.”

It may be no surprise that my imagination skews slightly dark and that for all my rational leanings, I thrill at the mysterious and unseen. Or maybe I’ve watched too many episodes of “Ancient Aliens” and apocalyptic shows.

When I was 13, I used to have vivid, frightening dreams of being at the beach when a huge tidal wave was coming. There weren’t many buildings around, but I remember huge, white Grecian columns. I made the mistake of telling my extremely religious aunt about these dreams. Her eyes glowed w/ evangelical fervor as she replied ecstatically, “KeAnne, those are dreams of the last days. And we ARE in the last days.”

At the time, I thought she was crazy, but now I wonder.



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