Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The day started walking...

The popol vuh.  Gold. Ancient pyramids.  Blood letting.  2012.
The Maya.

A vast civilization known for many things.  Intriguing people with the most accurate calendar ever created.
I have always been fascinated with ancient peoples, specifically, Aztec, Maya, and Inca. Widespread dominions that are frequently overlooked in history books.  We learn about Europe and Asia and take a mere cursorily glance at the Americas.  Oh, there were people in the Americas. They were summarily wiped out by conquistadores.  And off we go to talk about the colonization of the US and our history...not my favorite history lesson.
But...ah...but...that was interesting...
I'm a voracious reader. And I love to learn. Add in my interests in Latin America, ancient history, and travel, and we have a deadly combination.  C’mon, who doesn't like searches for gold? El Dorado?  Adventure? The mystery of things we will never be certain of appeals to my sense of storytelling.
It's therefore no surprise I'm addicted to travel memoirs.
In my readings, I happened across a Mayan phase:  "El día se fue del este y empezó a caminar."*  In Spanish, it has a certain ring to it, a combination of a song and a story whetting the imagination of what could be.  It isn't quite so beautiful in English, "the day went from the east and started walking" but it still holds mystery.
It's a beautiful description of the day as a journey.  It carries the hint of newness. I immediately wrote down this saying, and have remembered it ever since.
I like the idea of the dawn as the beginning of a new adventure, the day as my journey.  Life is formed by each day, by the small trips we take. Each moment wasted is an experience wasted, an adventure not taken.
I hate to sound too much like a self-help book, but I truly believe that we are meant to experience every moment.  Sometimes the experiences are exciting, like swan diving off a bridge, and sometimes they are more mundane, like smelling an almost-forgotten flower. Neither experience is more real or more valid than the other, they complement each other and add richness to my existence.
This phrase has become what you might call my mantra.  It reminds me to always look for the freshness in the everyday and spurns me to embrace the adventures that come my way.
My blog, in the end, was created as a new experience for me, an adventure, if you will.  It also serves to fill the need to share my random thoughts on life.  Since the whole phrase is rather long for a title, I decided to rewrite it shorter, but with the same spirit behind it.
And that is how the title came about, for all of you who were asking.
Here I leave you with one final Mayan phrase: in lak'ech
You are the other me.
*It was quoted in Spanish in my book.  I can't find the original Mayan translation, try as I might.

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