Wednesday, 5 December 2012

The end is nigh

The end is nigh
5 December 2012

So if the prophets of doom are correct, then the end is nigh.  Oh dear heavens!  However will we cope?  Imagine the horror – not.

There have been doomsayers and naysayers and pessimists since time immemorial.  People who absolutely thrive on the doom and the gloom.  They’re just so predictably grim and live in an awful world where the glass is always near empty, never mind half empty.  For them every silver lining is overshadowed by a cloud and the light at the end of the tunnel belongs to the train. 

I simply can’t imagine living my life like this.  For me the glass is always overflowing, never mind half full.  There are always delightful possibilities everywhere.  Maybe this outlook comes from living a life with an attitude of gratitude.  Perhaps I have learnt this from my awesome family – such positive people too.  For me happiness is a conscious decision, not an automatic response.  I will be happy goddammit!  Positives are seeked and focused on.  Negatives are banished and not dwelled upon either.  I simply won’t give them head space and evict them from my thoughts.  Life is too short to be miserable and worried after all.

But if these doomsayers are to be believed, then all will be lost on the 21st of December.  The world as we know it will come to a grinding halt.  I’m suspecting that they’re thinking apocalyptic meltdown or some such.  It should be an awesome fire show if that is true.  I wonder how many of them truly buy into what they’re advocating?  Bet they’re still stocking up on Christmas presents, just for in case.  A very small percentage are willing to go the whole distance and stand by their convictions.  I know one such lady, who is a true convert.  She packed up her home and moved to a remote location – as in very remote.  More than a province away from where she previously lived.  All this prompted by her belief in the end.  She chose her new dwelling, based on elevation above sea level.  Access to water and wide open spaces also played a role.  She spared no expense and has built a steel reinforced bunker, safely below ground level.  A bunker that is stocked up on supplies.  It’s all dried food, tinned foods, bottled water, gas and the like.  She should be quite safe, though very isolated for many a month.

But can you imagine that very fine day, when she finally raises her trap door and goes out into the world?  What would she see?  A desolate landscape, ruined for occupation.  Unfertile soil.  Death all around her.  Her family and children haven’t bought into her plan.  So they will not be with her, safe in her steel cave.  Would a life be worth living if you were the only one around?  Could joy still be found knowing your loved ones are gone?

I take my hat off to her if she’s right.  I salute her belief and conviction as such.  Personally, I’d rather live life right up until the very end.  And go off in a blaze of glory.  If the apocalypse were to happen, I’d like to send a special request.  Please off me and mine at the same glorious time – hopefully while we’re sleeping – I’m sure it would be very nice.  I wouldn’t like any of my people to suffer after all.

My Mom lives in Tulbagh.  A beautiful and sleepy plattelandse dorpie.  It is absolutely stunning.  Small town living where neighbours are still neighbours is fabulous to see.  Properties are big and houses too.  The air is clean, the mountains seem close.  But despite it’s apparent tranquillity, Tulbagh was also rocked by tragedy many, many years ago.  You see, it lies on a fault line.  I know, that doesn’t sound good.  Images of earthquakes in Los Angeles immediately spring to mind.  And once in a blue moon, those blasted tectonic plates shift, causing a huge imbalance below ground.  And up the imbalance will go.  Straight to the surface causing chaos, destruction and sometimes loss of life.  I can’t imagine bearing witness to a horror like this.  The fear must be consuming.  And though these earthquakes and tremors all take mere seconds to vent their fury, the backlash lasts much longer.

Tulbagh is still known to many, especially the older generation, for the awful earthquake of 1969.  There is a museum and pictures and lots of evidence.  Many homes in Tulbagh were rebuilt in a new fashion after that cataclysmic event.  Houses not made from mere bricks.  Houses that will withstand nature’s wrath.  But though on a fault, there have been no earthquakes for years and years.  The plates are behaving for the most part.  In their nearly 10 years in Tulbagh, the most my folks have experienced is the odd tremor, hardly worth mentioning.  But safety is key and we are all educated on what to do in an event.  My kids have been taught to run downstairs especially if they’re up in the loft – straight out into the garden and where they must stand in an open spot.  If trapped indoors they have to seek shelter under a table or in the frame of a door.  Yet, luckily this has not happened and their knowledge has not been put to the test.

And then, quite unexpectedly one Sunday morning, the minister of the local church’s wife stood up in the middle of the Sunday service.  She claimed to have received a vision straight from God.  The end was nigh once more and Tulbagh was on the cusp of another horror-filled earthquake.  She even knew the date and all were forewarned.  Many people panicked and felt rather uneasy.  And then lo and behold, the predicted day passed with not a tremor in sight.  After all of the hoopla, it was just another ordinary day.  Thank goodness for that.  No drama, destruction or death.  Unsurprisingly, not long thereafter said minister and his wife left their flock and went to greener pastures.  Perhaps somewhere without a fault line for sure.  I salute her bravery in standing up for her cause.  She put her neck out there, all in the public eye too.  It couldn’t have been easy for her. 

Personally, I look forward to a delightful Christmas as always.  Because although many different religions and cultures other than the Mayans also predicted the end of the world on the 21st of December, it is completely out of my hands.  What will be will be.  If you worry you die.  If you don’t worry you die.  So why worry?

But just as a parting shot, I’d like to leave you with a thought.  The Mayans set their calendar many, many, many years ago.  So long ago, it was before our “newfound” calendar was even established in Roman times.  The very same “newfound” calendar that included the existence of leap years and the 29th of February.  So given that, just so you know – if we link up our calendar with the ancient one, the 21st of December happened in about June last year.  So I think it’s safe to say, we’re all good.

But hey, if I’m wrong, apologies all around.  Look me up in the afterlife and I’ll apologise for the misunderstanding and my arrogance in my beliefs. 

See you on the flipside!

Maybe we can do a little post-apocalyptic get together at my house.  I’m thinking possibly on about the 22nd of December?  Hope my place is not too messy - there is a bit of a rubble probability.


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