How I spent the End of the World


I am writing today because I have to get this out.

I know that some things do not make sense until viewed through the lens of time. I know that events create phenomenon that appear both before and after the experience of the linear experience of the event itself. I wanted to start from the beginning, but I no longer trust that I know where that is.

So instead I'll start with the part that is seared most in my memory.

We were walking in the middle of a bright deluge along a path on the way to the ruins of Palenque. The day is December 21st, 2012, and the songs from the ceremonies that pierced my dreams the entirety of the night before were still holding court in my experience like an endless loop. Rain like a waterfall pouring down over us - like a baptism - and creating rivers in all the walking paths. Red hot sun shining ambient through the clouds giving everything a white hot glow. Rain so loud that we almost missed the sound of the drums pounding.


And then we turned down a smaller side path and walked down until we saw a large stone wall platform forming and jutting upward to one side, and steep stone pyramid steps submerged in waterfalls. We walked slowly upwards lumbering like inundated ants - marching to avoid tripping on the current of the water over the tall steps.

As soon as we got to the top, it hit us: drums so loud that we no longer heard the rain. People like a swarm writhing around a central circle. As we force ourselves past the bodies, we saw in the center a mass of young people wearing skin and feathers dancing and stomping their feet in the mud and puddles, making hand motions, and crowing all together in unison. It was the closest I've been to seeing human beings resembling a school of fish. They had been at it for hours, attended by the shaman (three of them) in the center proudly looking over the sweaty flock. The energy so thick that I immediately started sobbing. Dancers whose spirits were now overseeing their tired bodies. Bodies that would have called it quits hours ago if left alone to fend for themselves.

For years I have wonderred what I would be doing on that day. My fear was I would be doing a version of what I had done the day before. Maybe I would work. Maybe I would be packing up to go home for Christmas. I would probably have lit a candle. I might have eaten with friends and said a prayer. In my most ambitious imaginings, I would not have placed myself in the center, yet somehow by the grace of the Hunab Ku, and despite my own planning, I was right in the middle of the umbilicus: the Kuxam Suum.

Given the power of the event, and in some sort of deep and humorous naivety, I might have hoped that I would have ascended by now. But I have done none of the such. I am sitting here writing from my kitchen, sipping coffee, and trying to avoid thinking about the news, like anyone else. This seems to be the first step of integration: understanding that life goes on.

I remember, when I first got to the top of the pyramid steps and heard the drums and saw the dancers, I was for a moment overcome with wild jealously that I did not grow up exposed to a culture capable of producing this kind of experience. And then, thankfully soon after, just drop-dead grateful that this kind of culture exists at all. Grateful that on planet earth there exists a culture great enough and connected enough to produce what I experienced that morning.

I think at this stage of my coming to understand my experience, and to those within earshot who might be able to sympathize, the main lesson here for me is that it does exist. An energy beyond my wildest imaginings - and a culture capable of capturing that energy and channeling it - exists in this age of drones and chem-trails and VoIP and Fukushima. That even though all you might see around you is drywall, plastic, pixels and cars, strip malls and fast food venues, the human experience of this great cosmic soup is still being entrained somewhere into the hearts and minds of the younger generations.

My lesson is to give thanks.

That even though I might not be able to fully fathom this depth of experience - and even to the extent of having disbelieved that it existed at all at times - that it actually does exist always. It is alive, and it is greater that I ever imagined.

That even though my focus seems to have returned to the more mundane pursuits of work and feeding myself, there is a time and a place within my reach and memory (and likely many of them) where I have experienced humans making contact with something greater than my own experience can fully grok.

That the very existence of something beyond ones wildest imagination, experienced by anyone, makes every human truly blessed.