Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Drywall Apocalypse

As many people are already aware  (I know this because Facebook is saturated with references) the Rapture and is scheduled to begin on May 21st, culminating in the end of the world some time in October. Billboards all over Canada have been erected to notify the sinners of our impending doom and give us some advance notice so we can try to save ourselves. And while I can’t bring myself to believe that the end is truly nigh, I have to admit that the edges of my world are crumbling just a little and I can’t  help but feel apocalyptic vibrations.

It started with spontaneous vision loss in my left eye. I woke up one morning last month and felt as if a shard of glass was lodged under my eyelid. A week of medical appointments followed during which no doctors, naturopaths,  or ophthalmologists could find anything superficially wrong with my eye. It was explained away as an instance of random inflammation. I don’t buy it though. I’m pretty certain it’s a sign of impending apocalypse: plagues of locusts, rains of fire, random blurred vision--these are all signs of the apocalypse right? As a sinner who has clearly not seen the light it makes poetic sense that my vision would be compromised in advance of the End Days. My vision did respond to steroid drops, so I can only conclude that steroids are sent by Lucifer to lull us into a false sense of complacency. With my vision intact I’m no longer thinking about my immortal soul and my metaphorical lack of sight at the level of my spirit.

But the eye incident was only the beginning. Last week I awoke to find the paint in my bathroom bulging horribly due to a build up of water coming through the ceiling and wall. A week of interventions followed, beginning with peeling off the paint so the drywall underneath wouldn’t rot and grow mold. I was able to pull the paint off in huge pieces, revealing plaster and gypsum underneath. It’s a sign of decay and degradation if I ever saw one and as the Apocalypse draws near we will all be wise to peel away our false fronts and reveal the fundamental spirits beneath. Only a few more days to set aside false idols and worship the one true god people! My bathroom has decreed that now is the time for stripping away the layers of grime, sin, corruption, and violence to find the pure (?) and essential building materials within. In the case of my bathroom (which now has two giant holes in the drywall put there by a contractor to dry out the wall underneath) this means getting to see the rusty pipes and insulation fuzz beneath the drywall facade. Clearly my bathroom is rotten to the core and I can only pray that the same is not true for me. It’s a warning, there’s no doubt. A warning just as epic as the one received by Scrooge that fateful Christmas eve--I must save my soul  now or burn forever in a fiery abyss.

The plumbers seem to have stopped the leak and while my bathroom is in tatters it’s drying out. I can only conclude that the plumbers, like the steroids, were sent by Lucifer to ease my mind and make me forget about my precarious eternal soul. Without the constant reminder of damp decaying drywall I’ll hardly think about the parallel decay of my own moral fiber.

Look around I say! The signs of collapse are everywhere! From the potholes in our streets to the pine beetles destroying our forests signs of Apocalypse surround us. And yet, we have not listened! I have been too busy living my life right here on earth to think about the afterlife. I’ve been too busy trying to be a morally sound person who cares about her community, the environment, her family, and friends. I’ve been too busy thinking about how to make a difference during this lifetime to think about how to live in the afterlife. Clearly I’ve made a horrible mistake. I should have turned my eyes to heaven and ignored this earthly realm.  My bathroom says the end approaches and my fate is like that of the rusted pipe leading from my toilet--to live forever consigned to a damp and decaying wall, isolated from fresh air and companionship. I just wish they could push this whole rapture back to May 23rd or something. It seems unfair to miss a long weekend. Trust god to end the world on a Saturday, just before the fun is supposed to start!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Lacuna

I wrote this prose poem awhile ago and have been debating whether or not to post it. After in languished for awhile in a digital file I finally decided to send it out into the world. I hope that it will resonate with someone somewhere, and perhaps provide hope.
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My body is limestone. My womb, once small, unnoticed, shifted to accommodate the first electric shock of life. A sinkhole opened in my heart and into it I poured my dreams for the future: my finger grasped by a tiny hand, the first act of naming, a miracle from blood.

When the life within me slipped away, when blood brought death, and the only cries shattering the silence of dawn were my own, when the waters of creation retreated a dark and looming space remained. My hope dissolved and rushed back to the sea on the unfeeling tide. I fell into the lacuna that the waters gouged open and went blind in the total darkness there. I lived for awhile in that echoing well, that space blanker than a pristine page and I wrote the biography that began “I love you” but was never finished.

Now my tears dissolve the word “mother” until it is meaningless and stalagmites grow from the slick stone floor in that place, dear one, where you used to live. Slowly, slowly, the emptiness takes on form, becomes a strange landscape that arises like a primordial dream. There’s a chill in the air that makes my teeth ache and the walls of this cavern grow knife edged sheets that threaten evisceration for those that dare to draw near, but there’s something beautiful too.

I wait for stirrings in the mineral rich pools deep within my body. I wait to catch a glimpse of eyeless creatures swimming: a translucent salamander that might become something greater; something that lives, and thrives, and grows into the light.

Andrea Paterson. 2011