Beauty and Promises
Beauty. Beauty is a vast arc of colors, splashed across the sky like a scenic painter had, in a single sweep, added the finishing touch to the heavens. Beauty is a rainbow of colors, six or seven of them depending on who you ask, curving gently across the wild black yonder in a perfect band, startling in its stark contrast against the darkness of the night sky. Beauty is a double rainbow, two perfect, clear, bittersweet reminders of the promise to all mankind, the covenant that He made and then broke.
Promises. Promises are supposed to be sure things, things you can trust. From pinky promises made with your best friend in the back of a school bus to solemn vows sealed by breaking a wineglass underfoot, you should be able to trust a promise. You should be able to trust someone when they say that they’ll be with you until the end of the world. But I guess that if the world ends, promises like that don’t count for much anymore.
The world is ending now. The sky is already darkening in nuclear winter, save for the slowly fading light of the bomb. My partner is gone. They were working where the bomb fell. I survived, but I have no hope of living for long.
And why did I live? Is it because I’m one of His Chosen and my partner isn’t? No, that can’t be, no just God would do such a thing. But then, no just God would go back on His promise, either. And yet, there is the rainbow, still a reminder of the covenant that He made with Noah and all mankind, that He would never again destroy the Earth.
God wouldn’t do this. He made a promise, a beautiful promise, a thing you can trust. The only way that this could have happened is if we did this to ourselves.
No work of art exists in a vacuum. All things have their influences. Although it would be impossible to identify everything which influenced me in the writing of Beauty and Promises, I do wish to pay tribute to those which I am aware of as well as to those I paid conscious tribute to.
This was written in response to suggestion by a friend of mine, who wanted to see a Jewish take on an apocalypse - specifically, that God had made a covenant with humanity after the Flood (symbolized by the rainbow), a promise to never again wipe out the world.
It is, obviously, influenced by my own experience of living as a Jew, and what I learned from my rabbi and synagogue.