Monday, March 19, 2007
TIDES, TOADS AND MAYAN ROADS
For the third year the toads came back to the pond last night! I checked my journal for last year and included with the date of 3/30/06 I put the note, “On the night of a solar eclipse the toads returned.” At first I thought that meant they had missed an exact year by eleven days, but checking the moon showed it was new today. Exactly thirteen moon cycles, one lunar year later to the moment, so unlike the much more arbitrary clockwork given so much credit for accuracy or our calendar with its multiple leaping back-up adjustments. The Mayans and the toads beat the Rolex and the Gregorian quartz every time when the time matters to more than a business appointment. Tiny petals from blooming Chinaberry are littering the surface of the water. A little early if I recall, but their cycle isn’t lunar, it's Confucian. My friend, Asenath, also returned from India … a reconjunction of another cycle as well.
Among the many staggering inferences to be drawn from the Mayan system of measuring time, using nine cycles as numerators to measure a date as opposed to our day, month, year, is that the longest cycle completes on the winter solstice of 2012 when the sun is in the dark spot of the milky way for the first time in its 5200 year long count. Think about how long such phenomenon had to have been studied before deciding to build an entire calendar based upon it meshed with all the other smaller cycles like an elegant instrument. If their dates weren’t so detailed I would suspect pre-Columbian interpretations of being cooked up from modern mathematically tortured theory. Rather than taking arbitrary rigidity like the year, decade, century progression of cycles multiplying by ten each time, these cycles seem like asymptotic approximations to a universal common denominator, well, relative to the solar system if it needs narrowing down. Thinking about how long ago observations for such a calendar must have begun being collected makes the vedas seem like yesterday’s newspaper … unless they had a cheat sheet from outer space at some time in their more recent history. The toads had to learn on their own croak. Maybe.