2-Ba’atz: Artists and Artisans (26 December 2017)

Born 2-Ba’atz: Gabriel Byrne, Harrison Ford, Morley Safer, Arthur Balfour

Artists and Artisans

“The Force is within you. Force yourself.” – Harrison Ford (2-Ba’atz)

On any given Ba’atz day, I find myself focusing on the New. Today I opted not to recycle any old materials for this post 😉

Here’s Tom with the weather

The New is has very little to do with the News. The News is old the minute it is captured and recorded, let alone released to TV or web. Even live, on-site News consists mostly of recaps and witness recounts of the rapidly receding past. The segments most viewers like within the evening news program, for example, are those where in-studio guests of various (conflicting) opinions discuss, argue, and sometimes lose their temper. The guests are experts, who rely heavily on their past to filter current events of the now in their own unique way. Public opinion is thus formed, as a basis for social engineering and propaganda.

Like in showbiz everywhere, the most substantial segment of the News comes right before it ends, when they announce the weather forecast. Many people watch or other wise ingest the news every day, all the way through, just to get to that practical, informational segment (which is why it’s programmed at the end).

The weather person telling us the forecast at the end of the news represents the junction where meteorology bestows its scientific seal of approval and prestige to the entire news show. With our weather engineering and technology being where it is today, the forecast/prophecy is usually right on the money predicting the near future of the local weather. So its solid, empirical credibility is usually enough to instill a fair share of truth and professional integrity in all the other, previous news stories (even if by themselves, they often contain half-truths, wrong questions, omissions, and distractions).

However, like all other sciences, meteorology is based on the past. It gathers measurements at the present with instruments, but this activity in the now has a higher (and ulterior) purpose, of increasing the already huge volume of climate history. Statistics then apply their laws of averages, bell curves, climate models,and endless citations and references to past studies of world renown.


Considering worldviews other than the western, there is at lest one other, altogether different approach to the Now and the New. This approach entails total personal and subjective absorption in whatever is taking place right now. Being basically primal to the realm of language, this experience can only be communicated through symbols, images, and descriptions of feelings, which in turn elicit in the human reader similar images, identities, and opinions.

So, how does it feel to be creating something new in the now, totally absorbed? My personal image is that of being in a magical, fantasy social party, maybe way back in my family’s prehistory. In a time when there were no clocks to carve up each day to 24 neat little segments. There were no calendars to cut the tropical year to a dozen irregular months.

In this party time meant nothing. There was only connection. A meeting of old and new friends, and a celebration of life, food, and body. An experience after which you can peacefully die the very next day.

Nowadays, this image can be found in the way artists and artisans passionately live their lives and express their spirits. They could be athletes, dancers, musicians, theatrical performers, and all other dreamers and manifesters of mundane, everyday magic.

The New always happens now.

According to the highlands Maya of Guatemala, to create something new, the artisan (Ba’atz/Chuen) weaves new ideas like threads into the already manifested background tapestry (be it an empty canvas, a rough piece of clay, etc.). When he does so, he is in the Now. There is no separation between him/her and that empty canvas, slowly disappearing into art.

Years later, when the artisan looks at one of his earlier creations, a gap appears between his present experience of nostalgia and that past now moment, when he crafted this creation into existence as a much, much younger and more innocent artisan.

Culture shock

Here’s Gabriel Byrne (2-Ba’atz) doing a Sean Connery (4-Ba’atz) impression.

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