Apocalyptic Meaning…

December 12, 2 minutes away from 12/12/12 at 12:12pm and the phrase “apocalyptic meaning” flows through my somewhat overloaded brain.

The word, “apocalypse” typically conjures images of end-of-the-world disasters. But the rudimentary meaning of the word is cloaked in images both Biblical and cinematic, far-removed from the root which is simply “uncovering” or “disclosure.”

Uncovering meaning…this is a phrase I can embrace completely, once stripped of the typical storefront meaning. Let’s uncover meaning in the coming days and uncover with our own uniqueness, our own creativity and imaginative flair the preciousness our lives have been and will always be. Find the hidden, for this is part of the whole “apocalyptic” experience.

Twelfth-century mystic, writer, and abbess, Hildegard von Bingen speaks well of this flair, the gutsy risk-taking required to hone our own vision, to uncover our own meaning without using others’ interpretations of the world as the basis of that same meaning: “We cannot live in a world that is interpreted for us by others. An interpreted world is not a home. Part of the terror is to take back our own listening. To use our own voice. To see our own light.”

The past few days have required a level of standing and listening I’ve not had in months. All in one stretch. Stand. Listen. Watch my children perform. Clap. Stand, sway, sing, smile, hug, stand. Stand. Stand.

My two sons in a symphony of meaning, unique and distinct but united with those around them…

j ruth kelly, 2012 all rights reserved
j ruth kelly, 2012 all rights reserved
j ruth kelly, 2012 all rights reserved
j ruth kelly, 2012 all rights reserved

These are precious lives, unfolding in a challenging era with an awareness of the corruption of the world they reside, an awareness that threatens to encroach on their own creativity, their own ability to use their own voices, their own sight. My youngest came into this world 3 days after the carnage of 9/11. What an imprint.

My oldest has watched her mom go from embracing one religion to letting go, releasing her abruptly from the ties she had relied on. What a scramble.

j ruth kelly, 2012 all rights reserved
j ruth kelly, 2012 all rights reserved

And we stood together singing in the audience at a concert that was standing room only, just a few feet away from some soulful voices on stage in Chapel Hill. My daughter had an opportunity to sing on the stage but didn’t know the particular song. One of the musicians noticed. She passed on the opportunity. But he didn’t pass on making sure to approach her later.

“Believe in yourself.”

She hears this from her mom so much that it loses meaning sometimes.

But. Words from a relative stranger, who made sure not to be too much of a stranger, giving generously, extending his heart. It expanded her own.

Believe in yourself, uncover, disclose yourself to the world without fear, find the meaning hidden in the daily rote world of get up and go, do, be, sleep, rise, do it all over again. Take “apocalyptic” moments as defined by others’ interpretations and make them your own. Uncover the meaning. Allow these days to disclose your uniqueness in the way you unfold responsively as love, in love and for love.

Everything else can go take a flying leap.

(Here’s a tribute to some heartful encouragement-in-action, Ed Romanoff: http://edromanoff.com/ )

And a great way to end this post since Rachael Yamagata was the reason we were up standing late into the evening…

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4 thoughts on “Apocalyptic Meaning…

  1. When I hear a story like the musician who encouraged your daughter, I am reminded about the power of the simple courtesies that are easy. I wonder how many times I missed an opportunity to make a difference because I didn’t think it would make any impact.

  2. Lovely song! Isn’t it amazing how a stranger’s words mean more than a mother’s. I think they expect us to always say positive things, cause, we are mom. They must discover the truths for themselves sometimes – hopefully they hear an encouraging stranger or friend echoing what we have told them all along.

    1. You’re so right, Paula. I appreciated the fact that it came at her from someone who doesn’t know her. More profound. More memorable. We all need to realize how much power we have to speak into lives…

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