Another year in America is wrapping up into another Happy New Year. Damn it, as Americans it is your duty to be happy.
Despite a congestion of lingering crises, the national DNA is traditionally programmed for sunrises not sunsets. And yet, the fact is our species has been thinking about the end of the world almost from the moment we became conscious there was a world. Not a constant thought, but surely one that has darted and hid inside us whenever nature outside us has unleashed another of its terrors. Is this when it all ends? when I am suddenly consumed? when everything I have and hold is taken away? Humanity has never stopped grappling with these thoughts, although today we have a thousand and one diversions to muffle their sting.
Except in the silence of the nights.
When the sun is gone, when the diversions have been unplugged, when the universe seems to be silent and asleep, apocalyptic thoughts can seep into our mind. Only the most brave or most blind are immune. Every instinct tells us if there be a beginning, there must be an ending.
How we deal with that instinct depends upon our belief-system. Upon our deepest, willing-to-die-for beliefs in God? nation? family? nature? But if that is HOW, what of the WHERE? On the last night of the world, where will we choose to be? There is of course the fabled -- Paris, Rome, Athens, the Holy Land. Or the stirring -- the Himalayans, the Alps, the Pyramids, Stonebridge.
There is also the quotidian, the everyday, the spot nearest your heart and your feet. That spot is sure to be the best of all. As another year ends, it wouldn't be entirely out of place to give it some thought....
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