It was a number of years ago that the invitation was made. I know it was long before the rest of the world - the MOST of the world - started to be aware of the significance of Dec. 21, 2012. Besides just being the winter solstice that is.
This was my introduction to the Mayan Calendar and, what was then considered, its prediction of the end of the world.
Now of course we are assured that nothing drastic is about to happen. Imagine what these days would be like were it true!
Mexico, meanwhile, is using it as a major advertising ploy. "For centuries, the Maya have looked forward to the new cosmic cycle and the period for reflection and renewal that precedes it," and, just in case we don't get beyond that date, they are planning many events and celebrations to honor the Maya in the spirit of "Ik' Manik'" throughout the year.
According to Maya wisdom (and I quote), "Ik' relates to Dec. 21, 2011, and marks a period of time in which winds will propel a transition, through balance and strength. Manik', associated with Dec. 21, 2012, is a date of self-realization and human equality, a new and positive time for humanity." Works for me.
This date also marks the ending of the 13th "b'ak'tun" which is a measurement of time in the Maya calendar comprised of a period of 400 years. This "is an especially meaningful date as it closes out the significant number thirteen of the b'ak'tuns in their Long Count calendar."
Polled late last year, a local group claimed to be close to 25 percent believers in an apocalypse. They must be the ones who are storing humongus supplies of toilet paper, soap, gasoline, vitamins, food and whatever else they think might come in handy.
If I believed in some dire ending (and I don't), I'd hardly see a reason to stock up on anything. What's the use?
Better, given the alternatives, would be to party. Oslo is hosting a "Rave to the Grave" with nearly 14,000 Facebookers already saying they'll be there. Not huge on crowds, I may skip that one.
The youngest recipient of a MacArthur "genius" grant is the Mayan scholar David Stuart. He is quoted as saying "The end of the calendar is completely made up by people who don't know anything about the ancient Maya." Not only, referring now back to Joel Stein, "did the Mayans not predict the end of the world in 2012, but more shocking, they are called Maya, not Mayans."
Stein, a humor (generally) writer for TIME, also checked in with Robert Sitler who has been traveling to the Maya regions of Guatemala and Mexico for more than 35 years. "None of the Maya whom Sitler spoke with had heard of their calendar, which hasn't been used for centuries. But in the past two years, they have seen awful American movies and TV shows about it, so some of them now believe in their nonexistent apocalyptic predictions, just as we do."
Remember Harold Camping? Last year he predicted a fiery apocalypse in May and then, when that failed to materialize, a fiery end which would obliterate the Earth on Oct. 21. That's this past October.
Last time I checked we were still here.
I don't mind reflecting and it would be a great time to catch up with family and friends.
Then too New Year's is just around the corner and don't we all think about resolutions then?
Actually, I can make my prediction right now: that, the OBSERVER willing, I'll be right here and reading my columns on the Friday mornings of Dec. 21 AND also the 28.
I predict it'll be a great year.
Susan Crossett is a Cassadaga resident. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.