‘Orange Sticker’: By the Babylon Motel

‘Orange Sticker’: By the Babylon Motel

"By the rivers of Babylon, we sat down and cried
as we remembered Zion.
We hung our lyres on willow trees. …
How could we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land?"

—Psalm 137

"Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever."

—Psalm 136

In Edenic Jarden, there's an orange sticker on the houses of those who have been certified as the safe/chosen/spared. Like the Israelites, those who live in Jarden are the Chosen People. But once you get in John Murphy’s pickup truck, cross the mythical bridge out of town and descend through the hostile, murmuring mass of the wannabe citizens of the Miraculous city, it gets…well, we already know Jarden’s not safe, but then there's Babylon. 

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The Secrets Garden: Axis Mundi

The Secrets Garden: Axis Mundi

Watching the Season 2 premiere, I see again a major theme returning from Season 1: secrets, secret-keeping and truth-telling.

Police Chief Kevin Garvey and his family spend Season 1 navigating the post-Sudden Departure world. Those “leftover” in idyllic Mapleton must decide whether to face what they are keeping secret from each other and themselves: their losses, their mistakes, their hidden guilt. Kevin is burdened with what he cannot admit or accept about his marriage and children, his fears and his spiraling violence. But we’ve seen in The Leftovers world that what is denied will return; what is buried will be unearthed.

In the Season 2 premiere, we travel to Jarden, Texas, a new Eden—jardin is Spanish for “garden”—in Miracle National Park. No one was taken from here Oct. 14, and now it’s a holy place to which pilgrims travel from around the world, looking for hope and safety.

The episode is titled “Axis Mundi.” By definition, an Axis Mundi is a world-center, where people go to encounter the gods, hear from oracles and find healing and transcendence. But there is spiritual gravity in such place: The Buddha’s Bodhi Tree, the Navajo Canyon de Chelly, Mount Sinai, Jesus’ dying hill in Jerusalem are “thin spaces,” to use the Celtic term, and the energy in thin spaces both energizes the soul and strips away attachment and illusion. Flawed human beings can’t stay in Eden. The earth under Jarden is quaking, as it did with the Adam-less Eve in the episode’s prologue. And things are already disappearing: children—and swimming holes.

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