by Joan Cope Savage
View of pillars in the salt mine under the city of Detroit.
Biblically speaking - given a chance to escape disaster, Lot's wife was told to flee without a backward look. Yet, she turned. We don't know if, in a flash, she saw Sodom consumed by sulfurous fire or if she died in the process of turning. As the story has it, the backward look turned her into a pillar of salt.
Her fate reminds me of the shadows of people burnt into the walls of Hiroshima
by the force of nuclear explosion or the hollow casts of Pompeiian
citizens shaped in volcanic ash. We know about them through the patterns they left behind when disaster struck, disaster they did not escape.
How many among us are not 'bad' people, but like Lot's wife, we are hesitate to flee the familiar?
I might be one.
We -or I- could turn into a modern version of the pillar of salt, looking backward, even briefly.
I strive to move even a little bit, acknowledging my uncertain future. Like those trapped in time before me, I might not be moving fast enough. I'd rather be found face-forward, at least.