The 2012 Question

In a little over 11 months, on December 21, 2012, the Mayan Long Count’s 13th bak’tun (comprised of 400 tuns, years consisting of 360 kins) runs out of days. That such an ancient calendar suggests an end date has given rise to doomsday nightmares, and, I will admit, when I burned my 2011 calendar at midnight yesterday morning (my annual ritual since high school), I was hoping for some  sign that the world will not, in fact, stop.

The first calendar—of unglossed recycled paper—quickly burned down to a fine ash, leaving behind no entrails to read. This unsettled me a bit. Thankfully, the second calendar was not fully incinerated. Surviving the fire was the following message: May, June, August; June 12, 19, 20, & 27; Sundays in January; #3, #5, #10, #12, #24; Pentecost and the First Day of Summer. I do not know how to read these signs, if signs they are. I am still concerned that nothing from after the 21st of December was left, but maybe #24 is enough.

This ritual is more about saying farewell to the year that has past (and the self that lived it), and saying hello to the one arriving—which, I guess, is what the whole of New Years festivities is about. Last year seemed to fly by, perhaps faster than any years before it. (Resolution No. 1: Slow down time.) It was a year that should have convinced me that efficiency does not increase capacity indefinitely, if only my skull were a little less thick. (Resolution No. 2: Decrease skull thickness). It was a year in which a stronger commitment to one particular theater meant less time/energy fortheatergoing, personal work, and musing/writing about the field. (Resolution No. 3: . . . It is a question.)

Time seems slowest when one pays attention to its moments, and yet time is most efficiently used when small moments are planned and filled with productivity, which speeds up time to the next moment (planned and filled). Last year flew by, perhaps, because it was efficiently used: an accomplishment, yes? There was much to get done. Then why does it feel regrettable? And this year I want to accomplish more, both broadly (contributing to a larger discourse on theater) and personally (playwrighting)? And I somehow believe that all that is needed is more effective scheduling (see Resolution No. 2)? It is a question. Perhaps I will figure out an answer on Sundays in January…


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