Louis Templeman: ‘The Face of Gone’ on how to live after your world ends

Yesterday I posted Jem Bendell’s Deep Adaptation and beyond and raised questions about what those us of formed in Western Christianity do when humans are no longer the center of God’s creation covenant? How then shall we live when no “Red Sea” miracle or Deus-ex-machina moment will save us from climate-induced social collapse? Where does hope fit as a theological theme when humans are decentered?

I also asked for conversation with people whose worlds have ended before–such as displaced Indigenous communities, refugees, prisoners. Noting that they may have practical guides and spiritual resources on how to live post climate collapse.

Today, I offer you an eloquent response from Louis Templeman, who was an inmate in Baker Correctional Institution, in Sanderson, Fla. What can we learn from Louis’ wisdom about how to live after the end of the world?–Rose Marie Berger

From Louis Templeman: I haven’t read your links yet. Just your letter. I apologize for not waiting until time to pass so I can rewrite. But, it is disposable anyway. Hope it mirrors the trouble you feel. Here’s what prison is like:

All over, all gone, alright.
All over, all gone, alright.
Uselessness and Helplessness, the religious
of the apocalypse, embrace me and squeeze me
and invite me to endure. And wait. And wait.
And, yes, wait.
But waiting is over. I’m already there. They’re
Already here. Already here. Already here.
Pain calls for sleep. Sleep runs from pain. Noise calls
For more, more, more. Listening calls for sense.
Sense calls for meaning. Meaning runs from every damn thing.
Waking up means more of the same. The sleep is short.
The truth sleeps, faking death. The sleep trucks in more of the same.
The same. The same. The same. The same shit.
Yet, the human condition, bred for hope, cries for
something else. Something not coming.
The face of Gone, the face of Over, is ever, ever
ugly and unchanging. Disaster, boring
until painful, calls the sisters to pray for your sight
so, you can watch, and feel, and watch.
–Louis Templeman

Louis Templeman is the father of five adult daughters and very happily married to Joy. He is author of Ice Water from Hell (published under his pen name Gano Rinehart) and has worked as a social worker, Pentecostal pastor, and house painter. He was an inmate in Baker Correctional Institution, Sanderson, Fla.

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