Tuesday, February 2, 2010

On "Rapture" by Gayle Brandeis (500 words) ***

A lot of people are going to die forever if we believe many of any one of the world's religions. Brandeis takes this terrifying idea, puts it into the mind of a kid, and makes us laugh--or at least she made me laugh. And this isn't necessarily something that's humorous. My own childhood was full of angst about just such things--the end of the world, and somehow I'm in the wrong place. I remember, in fact, as a kid being told that the world would end in ten years--that put me at about nineteen. That was absolutely terrifying to me. Why? Because the timing was the absolute worst. The church in which I was raised taught that children were under the protection of the parents; adults by contrast were on their own. Age nineteen meant that I was just outside that "parental protection" window--but also so young that I likely wouldn't have gotten baptized yet (our church didn't baptize children either). Just my luck, for the world to end while I'm in limbo land. Now, I recognize how much that kind of thinking was nonsense--I still keep the faith, but I know that self-concern is the least important thing of all and also that God is merciful. But I don't feel like I heard a lot of that as a kid. Or thought about it. Ponder Brandeis's narrator's experience here at Vestal Review.

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