Just weeks after a massive earthquake struck Haiti, the headlines herald doom and gloom yet again for another nation in the Americas. This time around, an 8.8 magnitude earthquake has struck Chile, triggering aftershocks and tsunami warnings throughout the Pacific. It's only natural, of course, for anyone to be scared and upset by these events, but when you believe that natural phenomena are a sign of the Apocalypse - the end of the world - well, then, how do you remain calm?
Picture it: Saturday morning - after hearing the news of the Chile disaster - I found myself playing hopscotch across the mine field that is my mother's faith and her interpretation of the Bible and world events. "This is it, oh my God, the end is upon us," she'll moan, and after listening to her sob and pray out loud I hear a hasty "I'll call you later" and then a dial tone. By this point, after narrating in Spanish to me what CNN is saying (as I'm watching it in my home), my mother needs a more immediate, visible reaction from an audience, so she hangs up on me to work my father and my brother into a lather. Which means that in two minutes I'll get another phone call, deriding them for not playing along - err, caring about what's going in the world - and then I reassure my mom that I am very much a Christian, and yes, I do believe this is a sign of things to come.
It's a conversation that never gets old for either of us, given our penchant for the dramatic and mutual love of wine. For us, natural disaster + white zinfandel = we're all going to hell in a handbasket, starting with my "stupid" father and my "useless" brother.
I should know better. I shouldn't poke at crazy and make it dance, but I can't help it. For all I've read in school and learned in the world, I shouldn't be so preoccupied with the end of the world, but I am. Call me provincial, accuse me of being scared of eclipses and snowflakes, I don't care. Believing that these horrible events aren't random, but in fact part of a bigger plan, helps me cope with the uncertainty of life in these modern times. Besides, what else would I talk about with mami?