Why the Apocalypse?

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I feel really good going to both chapel and community lunch. It makes me feel more relaxed and able to get through the day. I’m still in this constant state of fatigue. I wonder if I am just burnt out from school, if I’ve really hit that wall and my body just doesn’t want to work it anymore. Plus, the getting up at five in the morning doesn’t help. I miss Minneapolis a lot and all the beautiful people within. I must admit, I even miss the snow.

So, let me start by talking about what I hope to accomplish with this sketchbook. Blasphemy is sometimes a necessary form of worship. I say this because our forms of worship, the laws of the Sacred we emphasize, the beliefs, the communities, and institutions can become rigid and stale. Sometimes, we need new ways of thinking, new ways of doing because our old ways of doing can simply loose meaning. They can even become idolatrous.

Moreover, we live in a culture that interprets bible so literally. In my sketchbook, I am hoping to work through the Apocalypse of St. John and mess with it, to blaspheme it. There are several reasons for this. Growing up as a secular kid, the Apocalypse horrified me. It had little to do with being part of the in group who goes to heaven or the outcrowd bound for hell. People love the Apocalypse, however. It’s easy to scare people with it. It is a text that leaves you sleepless.

The narrative is that my character is living the world of the Apocalypse. I think we’re all born as the lamb. I think we’re born docile and peaceful, calm and beautiful. We all have the potential to be that beast. Maybe I don’t like that metaphor because it’s too binary. But, I think the violence of the Apocalypse has always left me quite shaken and sleepless. This is the rhetoric that drives the empire of America today. It’s violent and can be used to justify violence. It might be a metaphor but what it tells us is that justice can be achieved through violence. I don’t believe that. The ends and the means must always be the same. It’s the way of nonviolence. Peace is something that everyone needs to come to. It’s not something we can impose onto others. It’s not to say that we shouldn’t fight against violence. No, rather, what I am saying is that anything that we call a peace is most likely going to be a vision of peace. I cannot worship a God who envisions his good news as a sword.

This makes me stand outside both Judaism and Christianity, sometimes. So, I am deciding to wrestle with the Apocalypse, calling it out where I feel it is problematic, through art. My goal is not to burn the Apocalypse and bury it but rather, to alter it in a more just way. I am sure that when time moves on, someone will say the same about my art. I would like to talk more about the process. I want to do more research and read more before I create a sort of finalized statement about what I hope to accomplish.

I hope all is well with all who read this. Time for class. ❤

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