Some reflections. This is where I live:
It was built in 1915 and has the original windows, floors, and radiators. Great little place and I’m grateful to be here. Back in the summer of 2005, I was scheduled to speak in England, but at the last minute the flight was cancelled and there was no way for me to get there on time. The whole trip had to be cancelled. I was bummed, and to clear my head I took a drive north of Denver, visiting little towns along the beautiful front range.
I thought it would be nice to move out of Denver and live in a smaller town, closer to the country. It was a plan my wife and I had actually been talking about. So, I got online and compiled a list of houses for sale and we drove around all day, looking at places. This one was a foreclosure house, and to our surprise they dropped the price the next week. We made a lower offer and the bank accepted. Selling our house in Denver was the tricky part, but that fell into place too (this was before the housing bubble burst). So, we moved in October 2005.
It’s a nice place, big corner lot. Half basement. Old trees. In the picture there are two little trees in front now, because the old walnut tree and two others had to be cut down a few years ago. There’s a well and a well house. In back, half of the two-car garage was turned into an office, which was perfect for me. My wife used the long front porch as her office.
Time moves forward, people change, life throws curve balls. After thirteen years of marriage it was no longer working, and my wife moved out last year. When I took over the house, it was slightly “underwater” as they say, due to the economy and house values dropping. It’s almost a century old, but I have an appreciation for the solidity of old things. Hardwood floors, nice hardwood doors and cabinets. Has a southern exposure and a view of the Rocky Mountain National Park off to the west. Some upgrades and remodeling of the basement is needed, projects to stay busy with as I reboot my writing career.
It’s pretty ironic that the marriage expired as 2012 was coming to a close. Funny how life can have a sense of humor. When it rains it pours; a lesson I’ve learned at other times in my life. People have to not only be on the same page, they have to be in the same library! Making it work as an author is not easy, but it’s been working for over 12 years, although not without its rip-offs and disappointments in the changing field of publishing.
I did my best to offer clarity, insight, and discernment to a difficult topic, a deeply misunderstood topic that the marketplace and the pop culture has raped and pillaged and otherwise has had its way with. Now, it’s tossed aside and I’m discovering, in recent months, that many of my friends, professional contacts, and acquaintances had conflated me so intimately with “2012″ that, now that it’s passed, I’m no longer on the radar. Sounds harsh, but that’s the way I’ve been experiencing it. There are certainly some core friends who remain, but things are not the same.
Dealing with 2012-related challenges was certainly not easy. But it was the work that I was called to do, that either I selected or it selected me! In some deep way it was enmeshed with my own karmic work, and I’ve tried to grow through all the challenges, much of which revolved around how being a pioneering voice for new perspectives and discoveries will galvanize attacks and bad behavior from those who are threatened. I won’t go into detail, but somehow the marriage disintegrated in parallel to the disintegration of the world’s ability to rationally treat my work, and the 2012 topic generally speaking. Miracles had to be pulled off constantly; responding to opportunities, invitations, event offers, critics. I needed help, help in running a potentially lucrative career, help in managing the multiple demands of writing, traveling, speaking engagements, contracts, and promo. I did all of that myself and it took a toll.
It was, essentially, a slow apocalypse that came to a head in December of 2012. But, as always, I’ve treated the term “apocalypse” in its true etymological sense, as an “unveiling.” Something got unveiled, exposed, and it was the illusion of things held onto even when they are no longer real. The marriage was no longer working, or “real.” And the 2012 discussion was no longer real, since the media, irrational scholars, other critics, doomsday pimps, and various pop writers couldn’t seem to approach it as a true artifact of ancient Maya thought. I had to finally accept both of those things.
Exposing illusion is a good thing. But it’s not that 2012 got exposed as “a hoax.” There was no “disconfirmation” of what 2012 is really about. (You don’t disconfirm something when the false beliefs about it don’t occur.) Rather, we just can’t expect mass culture to embrace, as a whole, the deep implications of such a topic. It simply doesn’t work like that. The media will speak to the masses, the middle of the bell-shaped curve where all the superficial illusions live. What DID happen on December 21, 2012, at Copan in Honduras, was actually quite astounding and affirming of the ongoing work to understand ancient Maya cosmology. But that wasn’t reported on CNN or the BBC. Do I mean the media should report something about what the ancient Maya DID believe about 2012? It wasn’t even on the radar for the news media, even the “science” media.
I used to tell a story in my presentations. Debunkers and critics of 2012 liked to debunk the doomsday angle on 2012 (something I’d already done two decades ago), and then say “see, 2012 is all a hoax.” But that simply doesn’t logically follow. It’s like proving that storks don’t deliver babies and then concluding that childbirth is a hoax!
The events of December 2012, both in my personal life and in my professional work, caused me to revisit the themes of betrayal and redemption that I explored in a novel I wrote in early 2005. It has remained unpublished but I’ve revived it in recent months as it seems almost to anticipate the things that actually transpired as 2012 came to close. Creative work can be like that. I’ve been finalizing it now for publication. It’s not ultimately about 2012 as some topic that expires and is no longer relevant, but rather the universal and eternal dilemmas and principles that inform human experience.
Beyond this new work of fiction, I have two more writing projects that are congealing into form, and three other books on the back burner awaiting release – more on these in a later post. For now, it’s a beautiful day in Colorado. I’m going to jump on my motorcycle, drop by one of my favorite coffee shops, continue reading John Cowper Powys’s biography (The Descents of Memory) and then head off into the mountains.