Saturday, December 15, 2012

Singing our way to oblivion

While contemplating how I could best spend my final hours before the end of the world arrives on December 21, I noticed that the Minnesota Opera production of, "Silent Night: Opera in Two Acts," airs that evening on public television (PBS). What better way to witness the end of everything than by watching a musical version of an event that occurred during "the war to end all wars" -- World War I? The photograph is from an actual performance, which, I must confess, I have not seen live on stage. For those not familiar with "Silent Night," the opera was commissioned and premiered in Saint Paul a year ago (yes, really .... backwoods Minnesota), and is based on the script from the 2005 film, "Joyeux Noel." I absolutely adore this story and enjoy this film which tells it, and have mentioned them a time or two in posts. To put the story in context, British, Canadian, French and German soldiers emerged from their trenches impromptu for a few hours on Christmas Eve in 1914 to join together singing Christmas carols. Even war has its miraculous moments. To offer a guide to the quality of this production, the music from "Silent Night," composed by Kevin Puts, won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for music. So, look at your public broadcasting television schedules and, perhaps, we can be deep within our bunkers singing along with the music from the same opera on the evening the world comes to an end.

Do not say I did not warn you

I do not know about you, but I am scared straight, putting my affairs in order and on my knees praying to Quetzalcoatl every few hours.

Never mind that Quetzalcoatl was a god of the Aztecs and not of the Mayans, but since they were sort of neighbors and since I am not on a first name basis with any Mayan gods, I will hang tight with the Aztecs (or Mexicas, if you prefer). After all, divinity, real or imagined, is divinity. Not to mention that Quetzalcoatl is among my favorite gods (I love that name) and there is one theory that, in actuality, he was a Viking who tired of the cold and snow of Iceland and Newfoundland and Vineland and headed south for the winter. My kind of Viking, no doubt.

Please, do not laugh. I am serious.

And, yes, I know I am drifting and rambling and not getting to the point. What can I say? I was born a drifter, both literally and verbally.

Back on topic: I assume you do realize that the Mayan calendar ends with the arrival of December 21, 2012. I also am reasonably certain you are aware that, according to some, this amounts to a Mayan prophecy the end of you, me and the Earth will occur on December 21, 2012. Finally, I assume you are intelligent enough to know that December 21, 2012, is only six days away.

Although I am not buying it one hundred percent, I am taking no chances. Although any Mayan I have met has no clue when the end of life as we know it will arrive, I will err on the side of caution. Although my best guess is that this confusion arose simply because the Spanish conquistadors arrived and put an end to Mayan life and times and civilization before they had a chance to publish their next calendar, I will choose the conservative path.

Neither am I the least bit worried that I would not do just fine if I had to pick up, pack my bags and start all over again in Heaven or in Valhalla or in Tralfamadore or anywhere else on December 21. But, no matter, I still do plan to stay on the good side of Quetzalcoatl and to fill my underground bunker with fresh supplies to ensure survival if this is the real thing -- the real thing, but not a full-fledged cataclysmic thing. You do understand where I am coming from, do you not? Half the money in gold buried in the back yard; half the money in the bank -- in a manner of speaking. Mr. Nonchalant over here; Mr. Bunker Mentality over there.

So, I am not suggesting you build a bunker or try to get on the good side of Quetzalcoatl. I just thought I would mention that December 21 is only a few days away and there is no escaping that fact. Do what you must -- and, do not say I did not warn you ....


ANITA said...

I simply dont belive in that old sayings that the world is gonne end in 21/12-2012!!what a bullshit!!no one knows the day the earth ends..and never will in our lifetime..I do agreee with that Viking going to the souths in winther..thats a real norse man..yeah..if his not stuck with a norwegian girlfriend or family..

Nice Operas Fram..never heard Silent Night as a opera..Thanx..I save it!!))

Kaya said...

Fram, I didn't listen to opera for a few years.

I have PBS and I am going this evening to watch the opera Silent Night. I only have to figure out what time they are going to air it. Great!!!

I also start to spend final hours of the end of world in a very serene way. No wild things anymore. It doesn't sound like me but I want to greet the end of the world as a very good decent person.

Ok, you warned us. I can't blame you for anything. Too bad.

I am planning escape from December 21st and I can't reveal it in the details right now because I didn't think carefully about them yet.

What I know for sure that after apocalypse usually comes catharsis or something like this. It is a little optimistic. Isn't?

And by the way the newly found Mayan calendar made things even more complicated.

It states that the end of the world will not happen December 21st. Such a confusion. No clarity at all with these people who wrote Mayan calendars.

Meanwhile, I am going to watch Silent Night and enjoy it.

Fram Actual said...

Oh, Anita, no one can say with certainty when the Earth will come to an end. It might collide with an asteroid, and that will be it for the planet. The magnetic poles might reverse and set off cataclysmic events. And, if not the Earth itself being destroyed, possibly its inhabitants will, in effect, vanish. Climatic change -- natural, not manmade -- might spell the end for mankind. An incurable disease might evolve from an unknown bacteria and bring about the doom of mankind.

Anyway, things like Stonehenge, the megaliths of Easter Island and the Mayan calendar are what make life more interesting and more fun. It makes no difference if everything is true and real, because, actually, not much about life is true and real.

Maybe, instead of going south for the winter, I will go north for the summer.

Fram Actual said...

You probably have discovered by now, Kaya, that the opera performance is not/was not Saturday evening. It is on the day of the Mayan prediction of destruction -- December 21, 2012. So, you will have to adjust your plans if you wish to watch it and, at the same time, escape from December 21.

As for catharsis after doomsday, I suppose that might be the case if, again, this would be a non-all encompassing, cataclysmic event and some few of us who have bunkers survived it. On the other hand, as I sometimes do, I will refer to the regeneration of the Earth as is prophesized in the Old Norse tradition of Ragnarok. Once the final battle between good and evil has taken place:

Now do I see the earth anew
Rise all green from the waves again;
The cataracts fall, and the eagle flies ....

I guess that might be called catharsis. Of course, in all likelihood I will be with Freyja in her great hall in Folkvangr if this truly is an irrevocable, cataclysmic event.

As for a second Mayan calendar, all I have to say is this: Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me. They had their chance, and if the Earth is still here on December 22, I will never trust another Mayan about anything.

ANITA said...

Hei Kaya and Fram♥..•*¨*★ ☆.love☆¸¸.•♥i cant belive you trust in thaT Maya thing thats going around!!Its a money making thing!!see.what was it last year?also something about the last hours of earth..The Mayans endings was of nature causes.Vulcanos.It is not even thrilling..Trust me..the queen of the woods..ahahahhahahaah..The earth will last another year!!So..while you listen to beautiful opera.. i go and do my christmas tree.In Plastic fantastic.(I dont wan t all those bugs)Happy sunday you too!!Kisses and hugs♥..•*¨*★ ☆.love☆¸¸.•♥

Smareis said...

Olá Amigo,

Eu tenho pensado muito no que pode acontecer no dia 21 de dezembro, mas creio que não é o final do mundo.Pode acontecer alguma coisa, mais não o fim do mundo, eu não acredito nisso. Não acredito nesse calendário dos Maias.
Deus disse que só ele sabe o dia e a hora do final do mundo.Ninguém sabe, só Deus.
O mundo pode até acabar no dia 22, mas no dia 21 ele não acaba.
Não vi essa opera risoss. Parece boa pra um final do mundo.

Aproveito desde já, pra te desejar um Natal cheio de muitas alegrias, e que o espírito do Natal te guie durante o ano novo que está para começar.
Obrigada pela sua presença em 2012 no meu blog. O meu desejo é que possamos estar trilhando novamente em 2013.
Ótimo final de Ano, e maravilhoso começar de Novo Ano.
Feliz Natal e Próspero Ano Novo!

Refletindo com a Smareis

Fram Actual said...

I did not say I believed the prophecy, Anita. I said such things are interesting and fun, and I usually do walk down the middle of most roads and not on one side or the other.

But, I also admit the possibility of magic, of spirits, of trolls and goblins, of knights and princesses, and, for sure, I believe in manitous. It is no different than believing in love and hate, or in god and the existence of the devil. I believe in everything and I believe in nothing.

By the way, while the Mayans did precede the Aztecs as a civilization, and while the Mayan "golden age" ended long before the arrival of the conquistadors, they continued to persist and to exist, and still do today. They did not vanish.

Fram Actual said...

Yes, I agree, Smareis. I think the Earth will still be here when December 21 ends and December 22 arrives. That I, personally, will be here, I am much less certain. Accidents, disease and crazy people have a tendency to make our lives uncertain.

And, that at any moment some cataclysmic event could occur to end life on Earth, I have absolutely no doubt. There are two elements at work here, the idea that the Earth might be destroyed and the idea that life on Earth will end while the planet remains.

There are those who argue the Earth might be swallowed up by a black hole and those who say such an event is impossible. From my point of view, there is no reason to worry about it -- but, I do enjoy thinking about these things and talking about them. And, I would caution, to paraphrase the words of Hamlet, that I also think this: There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in the philosophy of most of humankind.

Thank you, for the holiday wishes, Smareis. Be assured that I hope the same for you and for those who are close to you. I am pleased, as well, that our paths in cyberspace have crossed. I enjoy reading your posts very much, and I appreciate you coming to visit me here on my page. I am sure our visits will continue into the coming year.

Smareis said...

Obrigada Fram,

Eu também gosto de ler muito seus textos. Você escreve textos atilado e elucidativo, seu blog foi uma descoberta muito boa.
Obrigada pela presença e comentário. Ah! respondi seu comentário la no meu blog.
Que o brilho do Natal ilumine você todos os dias do Ano Novo com a mesma intensidade do Amor, da Paz, e da Sabedoria.
Feliz Natal e um ótimo Ano Novo!
Grande abraço!

Fram Actual said...

You offer me many compliments, Smareis. Thank you.

I have said in the past that I write for myself, and that if anyone else reads what I write, so much the better. I also have said that I write because I am curious. I want to know what other people think and how they feel about certain issues and ideas. I want to know their opinions about what I have written.

Unfortunately, not many people take the time to comment. That, in itself, forms part of an answer to my questions. I know most people generally do not comment except to people who also leave comments on their pages. To a large degree, I am that way myself. And, I essentially have quit roaming the sea of blogs looking for new readers. This last element is because I spend only a fraction of the time I once did exploring here. There are other seas to sail, as well.

Thank you again, Smareis, and I send my wish for happiness and contentment and the enjoyment of life to accompany you on your walk through life in 2013.

Something special ....