Your own private apocalypse

Ben Kadel
4 min readSep 30, 2021

Welcome to Limbo

I see you.

I was there not that long ago, though it seems a foreign country now.

Everything is unraveling and no one is noticing. The writing is on the wall. The house is on fire, and they are all sleepwalking through it.

You scream as loud as you can. You sound the alarm.

Nothing.

You plead and argue and stomp.

Crickets chirp.

My dears, they can’t hear you now. You have passed on. You are a ghost in their world.

The veil of delusion has been ripped away for you, but not for them.

Welcome to the apocalypse.

Apocalypse only means revelation. Nothing has changed. These hard truths have always been true. Before you were blind; now you see. That’s all.

This is the apocalypse. Look around.

You assumed it would happen all at once to everyone, but as William Gibson would say, the apocalypse is here, it’s just unevenly distributed. It hits some of us sooner than others.

It’s disorienting, I know. All the comfortable lies, all the certainties — gone. The ground falls beneath your feet; the carpet pulled out from under you. It’s hard to know what to believe anymore. Reality beggars belief.

And so we yell and scream and shake our little fists. “If only they would hear us (then we would feel safe).” “If only they saw too (then we would know that we are sane).”

But trying to get them to see only makes you question your sanity. They all seem so certain, so secure, so oblivious. It’s seductive. It’s natural to long for that certainty, but it passes through our grasp. There is nothing solid there for us anymore.

I have been here longer than you. I have seen the ones that came before you and I’ve come to know those who’ve been here longer than me. We all start there. The confusion. The anger. The fear. The lashing out. And the source of all that anger and frustration; impotence.

Soon, you will see. You’ll relax. Give in. Give up. Same thing.

You’ll realize that they are lost to you. There is no point yelling or screaming. The fist you shake will never land a punch.

But fear not — they will all join us soon. There is no escape. Eventually, reality wins.

So, let them go for now and take a moment to have a good look around.

So far, you’ve only been looking back. Even your fears of the future are only projections from the past. You’ve been fixated on what is fading away; what is dying because it is time for it to die. But there is always more than loss. In yin there is yang; in yang there is yin. One creates the other simply by being.

There is something magical waiting for you when you turn around. Let go the thrall of what was. Grieve it, but move on.

And what are we grieving, really? The sun that sets tonight on the Salish Sea is rising over the Caspian one. Same sun; different perspective. From one perspective, a person dies to the world but to that person, it’s the world that is dying away.

We grieve the apocalypse because the world dies to us. At least the old one does.

But the sun also rises.

Turn around.

At first, the light is blinding because we have been in the dark for so long. It will take us a while to get used to this new brightness, so take your time. There is no rush now. We’ve moved past rushing. We are entering into the long time; the time of the ancestors; the time that only comes at the end of time. The time between times.

We are in limbo. No longer where we were, but not there yet.

We can look that way and see all that is fading away; some we will miss, some we wish a hasty good bye. But we can also look this way and see something brighter on the horizon.

After the loss, there is always a rebirth. That is the way of things. They grow; they appear to die; and they are born again.

But only after they die.

So, sit with me for a while in limbo as we grieve what we have lost and get accustomed to the light that is coming. We are in the time of no time, so embrace it.

For this brief moment, recognize the preciousness of standing between this world and that one. For one brief magical moment, we can sit here with what was and what will be. We can pause here in limbo long enough to let our eyes grow accustomed to the light and discover what comes next.

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