Where I grew up, people were big on talking about the Rapture, the blood running from the fountains kind of bullshit, the left behind, you'll be all alone while your "saved" relatives will be lifted up and taken to Heaven. While many of my friends were terrified by this prospect, it didn't have much of an effect on me. After all, I lived in a house where there were diaper pails of rattlesnakes from time to time, where we had a pet bat named Andrea until it became rabid and died, (ie, I think Andrea has taken a turn for the worse, my mother said, when her sickly head drooped and she began hissing), where people regularly performed seances and talked about astral projection. Blood from the water faucet wasn't much of stretch and in fact, sounded kind of cool. As for being "left behind," hell, that happened with some regularity on the playground, not being a popular or easy child, I found that I often couldn't keep up with the next cool thing. So big whoop, as we used to say. Some of those assholes could leave the earth as far as I was concerned, and if they were pulled up into Heaven, well, I could only hope that Heaven was a place that wasn't that interesting and the whole streets of gold thing would bore them after a while.
Preachers in my youth were always vague on Heaven -- Hell they had done to a fine art. I admired how well-crafted the sermons on Hell were -- you would burn in eternal fire, your skin would fall off, and then you'd reburn. They'd really warm their hands to the subject, and pretty soon, several people would come up during the altar call to get "saved" or "rededicate" their lives. Even though you were saved by grace, nobody ever felt good enough to trust it. And Heaven, well, that was a scary thought as well-- the clearest picture I ever got was that you'd have to play the harp in a white outfit. I still know lots of people, rational, lovely people who talk about the Rapture and fear it. I don't. I believe in C.S. Lewis' definition of Hell -- separation from God. That can happen on earth or in death or merely standing in the shower. The water doesn't have to turn to blood -- we all have plenty of that on our hands, whether we can see it or not.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"Healing is a small and ordinary and very burnt thing. And it's one thing and one thing only: it's doing what you have to do." Cheryl Strayed
Drinking essay suggestion: The Love of My Life Cheryl Strayed (published in Best American Essays 2003)
Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Fat Tuesday!
48 Days until The Sopranos airs!