Photo by Jackson Simmer on Unsplash

Who wants to think about the apocalypse?

Chelsea MacMillan
3 min readJun 22, 2020


A few months ago, I was all fired up about writing a series of articles (or maybe even a book!) about Reclaiming the Apocalypse. I had just facilitated a workshop and Reimagining Magazine had published my piece with that very title. I was on a mission to invite others to boldly stare into the void of the unknown and discover ways to move into action more fiercely, thoughtfully, and playfully than ever before — because our world needs new ways of thinking, being, and doing.

But, then the world was plunged into a pandemic, into isolation and the loneliness that comes with it, into grieving massive loss of life, into uprisings (as thrilling as they may be!), into the mundane yet no less challenging navigation of new landscapes in relationships, work, parenting, schooling. Who wants to think about the apocalypse when we’re just trying to make it through each day?

Who am I to write about the apocalypse right now? Isn’t it too scary? Our minds too exhausted? Our hearts too tender? I know that mine is.

But, the thing is, the apocalypse was always going to be frightening and unknown. It was always going to be weird and disorienting and like nothing we’d ever seen.

It was always going to be unevenly experienced across peoples and land. It was always going to come in waves of sadness and horror and maybe even sweetness.

A pandemic doesn’t change that. It’s part of it. And whether or not we believe this is all happening for a reason — to teach some of us to slow down, to show all of us what’s truly essential in this world — or not, we can learn something from this if we so choose.

In fact, it doesn’t really matter — nor does the Apocalypse care — what we believe about It. It’s happening. And, it was always going to strip us bare of our notions of stability, of certainty, of reality itself.

The question is — and has been — what do we do when the world as we know it is ending?

Maybe it’s not just about reclaiming the Apocalypse, but also about meeting It, face to face, asking It questions. Maybe it’s about getting curious and soft and showing It our palms and the insides of our wrists and speaking in a low, calm voice.

What if we play with It? Or listen to It? Submit to It or even merge with It, allowing ourselves to be taken over by It?

Maybe, instead of confronting the Apocalypse, running up to It and shaking our little fists, puffing up our chests, trying to appear as big and powerful as possible, we shrink ourselves down and grow wings, lifting ourselves into the air, high above Its head, to see where It came from and where It’s headed.

Or, we fly into Its gaping mouth, to be swallowed whole and come out forever changed.

What if we write stories about It? Search for Its beauty as well as Its ugliness?

What if we sing to It, lull It and ourselves into a delicious sleep, to rest in the Unknown?

What if we stop and hold Its gaze?
Let It embrace us?

What if we trust It? Love It? Cry with It?

What if we open our mouths, wider than the widest yawn, and breathe It in, letting It fill us with Its blazing, blinding light, so sharp it slices through every muscle and sinew until we are shattered and our blood pours forth, rivulets and streams of crimson running together until I am you and we are It and We nourish the soil with Our very lives, pulsing together, laboring together, breathing and not breathing together, a wet shiny head emerging from the dark cave between Our thighs, together somehow, in this living and dying together, straining together, weeping together, waiting to hear the first wails of a new world together.

We are in a time of great rearranging, re-centering, reclaiming, relinquishing all that we thought to be true. Whatever shape the Apocalypse takes, may we humble ourselves and bow down to Its mystery.



Chelsea MacMillan

Spiritual director and sacred activist. My favorite thing to do is ask questions.