The Rapture: Does it make Scents?

by Elizabeth Cunningham

I thought I would write a possibly- farewell post in case any of us are going anywhere on May 21, 2011 that would take us beyond the blogosphere. For those of you who haven’t heard, the Rapture is supposed to occur this Saturday at 6:00 local time. If you think you are going and are worried about left behind pets , there are avowed atheists standing ready to help.

I personally have been much more concerned about the loss of my sense of smell as a result of a lingering sinus infection and/or allergies. It was missing for more than a week, sending me into a perhaps unreasonable panic that it would never return. The last six months have been extremely stressful, but this deprivation tipped me over some edge, as infirmities often will. Think of Job stoically enduring the loss of his family and all his wealth. But when he is afflicted with boils he sits down in the ash pit and begins his famous rant.

Yesterday morning, I smelled my coffee again. Everything fell into perspective. Who cares if we are in the midst of a messy move to High Valley, the yard awash in mud where the septic system remains unfinished? Who cares whether or not we can afford to maintain it or will resolve all the complex issues with our neighbors? Who cares about the toll the economy is taking on us and everyone else, the extreme weather of which we are having our share and which is almost certainly linked to global climate change? (BTW haven’t the tribulations already begun?)

I spent the morning in olfactory rapture. I could smell wet earth and grass, air laden with the scent of blossoms, never mind if I am allergic. I even liked the less pleasant smells, a whiff of gas at a station where I stopped for a second coffee (flavored with faux blueberry). I welcomed the smell of my own waste, which I realize is one way I assess my health. I decided I could accept how out of control my life feels, the world feels, if only I can go on smelling everything. Given a choice between the Rapture and staying behind, earth wins because it makes scents!

By lunch time, which I planned to celebrate by chopping garlic and onions for a stir fry, my sense of smell was gone again. I sniffed the onion and garlic at close range in vain. Since then it’s been flickering on and off like some faulty electrical connection, and I suppose it is like that. We had another night of torrential rain and I despair of the spring and summer events at High Valley with people slogging through mud and sinking in up to their shins. If I were Raptured, I wouldn’t have to worry about the septic system or about moving. It would solve so many problems!

On the other hand, October 21st (the date the world is allegedly supposed to end ) doesn’t get me out of enough responsibilities to be at all comforting. Moreover the release date of Red-Robed Priestess is not till November, which hardly seems fair. Since I am in control of so little, I think will go blow my nose again and check my sense of smell by sniffing my cold coffee. Whether I can smell it or not, I will remember that rapture and torment, heaven and hell are all right here, in every our breath and whiff.

Makes sense to me.

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Elizabeth Cunningham May 20, 2011 - 4:45 pm

Maeve speaking: Really the world has ended so many times for so many people. When it ended for my daughters and me it smelled terrible. Yet I agree with Eliz. The sense of smell is also a portal to heaven on earth.

BTW I hope to be posting here soon and not just in the comment section. My friend Tim is going to give me writing assignments. Some of my friends may post here, too. Then Eliz will be relegated to the comment section. If she hasn't been Raptured. Stay tuned.

Brooke May 20, 2011 - 4:53 pm

This made me laugh so hard! Thank you!! I so needed this today, since one daughter is throwing up all over, and the other wouldn't go to school. Thank you for putting it all in perspective. Isn't it funny how deviations in normal just send you to the edge? I've had my bouts recently with all of it, with rats, people ones and the real kind. Glad my cat has his sense of smell! Glad yours has returned!

If we are Raptured, you should know that it has been happy trails knowing you in the blog world. BTW, will that world still exist, even though we won't?!!!!

faerian May 21, 2011 - 4:36 am

i snorted too Brooke! Nostrils in rapture maybe this is what it is all about really – not ascending but truely connecting to this outrageously marvellous planet we are on, our miraculous if lumpy bodies (speaking for myself there) and their clever excretions…. i am in raptures over Maeve's new story being able to be in my hands soon, and, as always, Elizabeth's existence and our connection – big love to you and your snorer E <3

Unknown May 22, 2011 - 2:52 pm

Losing a sense so dramatically, one you are so focused upon, must be hard, harder than losing portions of your senses over many years.

My hearing is "normal" for a 72-year old male, which means I can't hear conversations at parties, nor make out lyrics in most music–except Elizabeth's wonderful CD. Vision in my left eye is distorted by a wrinkle in the retina and can't be corrected, my hip aches if I stand on pavement, or walk on it for any length of time, although I can still go running–on softer trails. and my sense of smell was never very acute; it's less so now, but I still have it.

On the other hand, my father completely lost his hearing in one ear as a child, and joked that his left ear was just ornamental.

I pray that Elizabeth will get her sense of smell back, but even more, I pray that she'll get better, as she seems to be at the moment and that her cough and congestion will disappear.

I also pray for sun. We've only had a few hours of it in a week!


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