We talked last night about the end of the world, and how the world has ended before, and how it will end again.
We sat and ate a box of delectable Danish chocolates , pressed into molds, filled with crème or praline or truffle or amaretto. My favorite was a coin depicting the town of Brugge, in Belgium, which once was Europe’s largest seaport, but the river silted up and the ships stopped coming and the town stopped growing and how different would Europe be now if that river had been wider, faster, deeper?
What does “end of the world” mean? The world built here in North America has ended more than once. The cataclysmic Flood, the upheaval of tectonic plates, the arrival of European voyagers, the attempted genocide of native people, the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, the invention of the automobile, the mechanization of agriculture, the explosions of atomic bombs, I could make a list from here to there and it still wouldn’t cover everything just in this country alone.
And the rest of the worlds’ ends?
From Pompeii to Hiroshima? From Auschwitz to Iraq? From flu pandemics to AIDS? From the dinosaurs to the dodo bird? From 1066 to 9/11? From tsunami to earthquake to hurricane to volcano to flood, my kingdom for a horse.
This is the way the world ends, not a bang, but a whimper.
Or maybe this time it will be different. It’s entirely possible given the fact we are such a small world, and people fly from one hemisphere to another within a day. People in Osaka, Japan are connected with people in Alexandria, Egypt connected with people in Sydney, Australia connected with people in Anchorage, Alaska connected with people in San Jose, Mexico.
A “global economy” and “centralization” and “world trade” all sound to me like too many eggs in one basket, and any end of the world is different now, because we know about it when it happens. And if it happened on such a scale that everyone, everywhere, faced financial ruin and mortal danger, then yes, this would be the end of the world, as predicted for thousands of years. Perhaps it comes, slouching along, sooner rather than later. Maybe this time all doomsayers are correct in their prediction, the sky will fall, the end is nigh, the entirety of life as we know it will cease.
We cannot know. And if, in fact, it is the complete and utter end? We will not know. Choose what you will eat, what you will drink, and what will make you happy right now. Tomorrow is a dream gone in the blink of an eye.
In the box of chocolates, bought for the 95% discount post-Valentine’s Day Era-of- Globalization price of $2.09, there was a dark delicious truffle formed like