I fell off my bike on the way home from work today. And it wasn’t just any old fall. Oh no, this was a full-on, back-wheel-sailing-over-the-top-of-front-wheel jobbie, which sent me over my handle-bars and deposited me unceremoniously on the road, chin-first, in front of a bored-now-curious queue of commuters in their revving cars. It happened so fast that I was left face-down, eating grit and wondering how I had come to be horizontal in the middle of Warwick at rush hour. I still have absolutely no idea what caused the drama – something must have become lodged in my spokes I guess.
Anyway, my second thought (after the non-deep version of ‘Why am I here?’) was, believe it or not, “Aaah, it must be the Mayan calendar.”
On Saturday morning, I taught a yoga class at the Stonemonkey Studio. Afterwards, I was chatting to one of the students who is a Thai masseur, and he was asking me about my pec injury. I explained that it was the latest in a string of injuries that had beset me this year, and that, indeed, it had been a funny old year in lots of ways.
“Same here,” he said. “It’s the Mayan calendar. The end of b’ak’tan.”
“Come again?” I replied.
He explained that 21st December 2012 marks the end of the most recent 5000-ish year cycle of the Mayan calendar, called the b’ak’tan period. As such, many believe that the whole of 2012 is a portentous year, and 21/12/12, with all those mysterious twos and ones, could be positively apocalyptic (hmmm, can apocalypse be positive?).
Back home I decided to google it, and promptly felt a tingle on the back of my neck as I typed ‘b’ak’tan Mayan’ into the search bar – it all sounded a bit too similar to my name… Anyway, I discovered (good ole Wiki) the following:
A New Age interpretation of this transition is that this date marks the start of time in which Earth and its inhabitants may undergo a positive physical or spiritual transformation, and that 2012 may mark the beginning of a new era. Others suggest that the 2012 date marks the end of the world or a similar catastrophe, for example through Earth’s collision with a black hole, a passing asteroid or a planet called ‘Nibiru’*.
I love the fact that the concerned populace has all bases covered. As is often the theme of my blog, it’s another example of an opportunity to choose either a positive or negative attitude towards a situation, in this case with dramatically polar outcomes: spiritual rebirth or eternal oblivion. Love it.
For me, the year has been a very mixed bag: four months idyll, bumming around the world with my back-pack, followed by the inevitable bum-biting return to reality; a very sad break-up that I am, frankly, struggling to get over; a plague of injuries; a career crisis; a yoga crisis; a surprising realisation that the midlands, for all its pesky lack of sea and mountains, feels like home; amazing support from friends and family; a burgeoning yet still fragile confidence in my writing and yoga teaching etc, etc. Oh yes, it’s all kicking off this year…
So, although I don’t feel like I can fully embrace either of the proposed extreme theories regarding the significance of the year, I am happy to accept that it has definitely been a rum annum, with funny things afoot, both good and bad (including being inexplicably catapaulted off my bike this evening). At least I have a convenient explanation for when things start going a bit off-piste this year. Becky Mayhem /B’ak’tan Mayan – it can’t just be coincidence…
* PS This reminded me of a fantastic Lars von Trier film I watched on the plane on the way to New Zealand, which made a big impression on me. It’s about Earth colliding with a planet (the eponymous Melancholia), with Kirsten Dunst brilliantly playing the role of a depressed rich kid. The ending in particular was beautifully sad and moving. Definitely worth a watch, as long as you don’t mind feeling really depressed for a good few hours (it takes a while for the mood to lift again after being subsumed by an intimate portrayal of depression set against the threat, and ultimate realisation, of Earthly annihilation for the duration of the film).