Thursday, December 27, 2012

Where Were You Dec. 21?


Being a seer is a pretty cushy occupation. One of my old college buddies, Jim McCurdy, after trying business courses with moderate success decided to study meteorology. Shortly after his graduation, he landed a weather forecaster job at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport. Jim said it was the best job in the world. He couldn’t fail.

“When our predictions don’t work out quite right, we just say some highly unusual pattern developed at the last minute,” McCurdy said. “Everybody knows the weather is fickle, so nobody puts any blame on us.”

Something like that happened in many places Dec. 21, as we awaited the end of the world or the start of a new Mayan calendar cycle, depending on whose tea leaves you were reading. A convention center near Mayan ruins at Chichen Itza on Mexico’s Yucatan Penninsula was popular.

About a thousand shamans, seers, stargazers, yogis, sufis, and swamis gathered to participate with self-appointed leader Alberto Arribalzaga in experiencing spirals of light entering their heads. This phenomenon was expected to “generate powerful vortexes that cover the planet.” 

We’ve been to Chichen Itza. I was not terribly impressed, so it was easy to resist any impulse to go there to celebrate either the end of the world or the launching of a new one. As it turned out, being there could be dangerous. The guardian of the “sacred flame” burned a finger handling the kindling wood. He later had to scoop up a burning log that was knocked out of the brazier and threatened to start a blaze that might have destroyed the wooden stage.

Many celebrants from distant places raised their arms high toward the sun after it ushered in “cosmic dawn.” Unfortunately, those with fair skin suffered painful sunburns for their trouble, a fate that could have befallen me had I made the pilgrimage to the Yucatan.

These reports made me feel good about my decision to stay home. Seeking to bolster my confidence that the world was not going to end, I spent part of the day performing pelvic muscle contractions, an exercise that can improve one’s bladder control. I believed that would do more good for the world, at least my immediate world, than anything I could have accomplished in Mexico.

Meanwhile the good mystics at Chichen Itza settled down once they realized apocalypse was not going to be now and proclaimed on Dec. 22 the start of a new era. Celebrants said they had witnessed the “birth of a new and better age.”

If that turns out to be true, I promise to hurry off to Chichen Itza and hug every Mayan I can find, but only after applying generous amounts of sun screen. We might have to wait another 5,000 or so years for the Mayan New Age to fully develop, so for now let's just wish each other a Happy New Year.

9 comments:

JHawk23 said...

Imagine, I was in south central Mexico for Thanksgiving without realizing how close I was, and how easily I could have driven a relatively few miles and participated in this definitely earth-shaking event right from ground zero.

When my wife and I belatedly heard what was supposed to transpire on December 21, we decided to observe the occasion by going out for a nice dinner the night before at an upscale local restaurant, figuring it might be our last chance. And if the Mayans had been correct, the credit card bill for it would never have had to be paid.

PiedType said...

I've visited the Aztec pyramids near Mexico City. Thought they were impressive, but then, I've always loved Mexico. Trouble is, I'm 3 for 3 in my trips there. Three trips, and sick as a dog every time. Tends to dampen one's enthusiasm for international travel. Still, I'm relieved to find the Mayans were right about a new era. Unless, of course, Warren Jeffs is right and Yellowstone blows before the end of the year. The seers keep trying. Someday one of them is bound to get it right.

schmidleysscribblins,wordpress.com said...

Once upon a time I was a seer, or so some believed. I gave presentations all over the place and warned about the Baby Boom generation and the coming financial problems. If only folks had listened back then (in the 1980s) Dianne

Dick Klade said...

Dianne . . . You were basing your forecasts on facts and logic. How could we expect people to accept intelligent looks at the future when it's so much more fun to believe in voodoo and similar stuff?

joared said...

Happy holidays to you -- a healthy and prosperous new year is wished for you.

schmidleysscribblins,wordpress.com said...

Until you mentioned the Mayan calendar, I had no idea where I was. I still don't remember. I would make a terrible witness at a crime scene. Dianne

Kay said...

Maybe the Mayans were talking about the fiscal cliff and all the praying at Chichen Itza averted that disaster... sort of?

You weren't impressed with Chichen Itza? I loved it, aside from the Montezuma's Revenge that I got hit with.

Dick Klade said...

I've been to Mexico numerous times and Montezuma never has attacked me. Could it be because I only drink beer while there?

Warren Lieberman said...

I think the Mayans ran out of stone.