Traverse City Record-Eagle

Columns

December 30, 2012

Lifelines: Life after the world's end

"If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear as it is"¦ infinite."

--William Blake

"Cuzz none of them can stop the time."

--Bob Marley

We pick a point out of eternity to start a calendar. I know calendars are a way to measure, and an old necessity. Still, it's like using a 12-inch ruler on a ray of sunlight or starlight.

Now that the Mayan calendar has ended, I'll confess I'm weary of all these endings and beginnings. I've lived through too many of them, including growing up during The Cold War when the end was at some stranger's fingertips.

My first experience with the end of the world is a vague memory that was to happen on Feb. 4, 1962. There was supposed to be a physical destruction that took place at a precise time on that winter's evening. I was in seventh grade and a little unsure about what to believe.

I said goodbye to my family just in case, and went out to the barn to shoot some hoops before the final buzzer. When I walked back into the house an hour later, the world was still there.

I never got over the dawning of The Age of Aquarius. I was an all-state football player, a Friday night warrior who wanted to become a Navy Seal. Then Aquarius rolled over me like a cosmic wheel of consciousness.

My hair started to grow long, and I was practically run out of my hometown. I became a poet and a peace man. I'm not a pacifist, but I'd fight for a person's right to be one.

The Harmonic Convergence happened during the early years of Stone Circle, a triple ring of boulders featuring poetry, storytelling and music on my property north of Elk Rapids. It was the most out-of-tune night we've ever had. Three carloads of amateur mystics showed up and tried to steal the show.

Then there was the year 2000, or Y2K,when our computers would all go kerflooey, triggering global chaos and causing people to die of loneliness because there would be no Facebook. I was performing poetry at Cadillac's First Night when that didn't happen.

According to those who believe they know, as the Mayan calendar ends, another new age begins. The world is moving into an era of more environmental awareness, enlightenment and an awakening of feminine energy. Please explain that to the lame ducks in Michigan's legislature.

Mayans were some of the first people to play professional sports. Their favorite game was POK-a-tok, and was played with a hard ball about the size of a human head. The players wore padding of cotton stuffed in wooden frames. The losers' leader was sacrificed to their gods. If the NFL followed those rules, the Detroit Lions wouldn't have many players left.

I sincerely hope we're entering a new age of consciousness.

Now if I can survive all the Super Bowl hyperbole, I'll be able to concentrate on my ritual of art and life again.

For you disappointed folks still following the Lions, you'll have to wait for the next calendar, or read the poem I wrote after student interviews with Don Glowicki as part of my Elders Projects. It rolls time back more than half a century to when the Detroit Lions were actually good.

Poet Bard Terry Wooten has been performing and conducting writing workshops in schools for 29 years. He is also the creator of Stone Circle north of Elk Rapids. Learn more about him at www.terry-wooten.com.

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