October 25, 2012 by Alex Hoekstra
Hard to believe that October’s already drawing to a close. I thought I still had weeks to think about what Halloween costume I’d probably not wear. (In years past, I’ve gone as a pedestrian, a civilian, and once, for flare, I was a muggle. Needless to say, I’m consistently the life of the Halloween party.) It’s hard to believe that we’re getting close to day 300 (and only slightly less close to day 366) of the year. I wish I had more time to reflect on everything that’s happened, but the fact is that so much is still happening that I’m going to have to just keep pushing and hope that I take good enough notes to reflect back upon in the future to really appreciate all that happened to me in 2012. Today’s project knows a bit about ends and beginnings, and the intimate, infinite relationship between the two.
The Edge of Forever is an opera (oh, opera’s not your thing? That just means you’re not doing it right.) about the epic end of one very long and well-publicized but poorly-understood cycle, and the beginning of another, hopefully less dramatic and even more fruitful one. If you love happy endings, I hope you’ll back this project with me before November 2.
The Maya civilization is best known for its sophisticated interlocking calendrical cycles used to weave together the past and future as mirrored by the repetition of phenomena in the natural world. As advanced astronomers, the Maya studied celestial events to predict precise intervals of time, forming the basis for their Long Count Calendar. The count begins at their creation date of August 11, 3114 BC and ends on December 21, 2012. Predictions for 2012 as the “end of the world” misinterpret Mayan cosmology. The most fundamental aspect of the Mayan belief structure is that time is without end or beginning; the end of one cycle simply allows for the dawn of the next. The Maya did not believe in fatalistic endings, rather they believed each cycle could bring about a shift in energy or a change in consciousness. The Edge of Forever examines this moment of transition and posits the possibility for a transformation in our universe and cosmic vision. Like these great cycles, love is infinite and not bound by time. While The Edge of Forever will be performed in our time, the story, like the Mayan calendar, stretches infinitely far into the past and future.