Saturday, July 21, 2007

Mayan Reincarnation

Last weekend Abby, Cesiah (a coworker of hers), and I went to the Mayan ruins at Copán. They were amazing. A few years ago, my family took a trip to the ruins of Chichinitza in Yucatan. You really can't compare the two. Chichinitza, or "chickenpizza" as my sister calls it, was grandiose. It was the size that wowed me. Copán was apparently the Paris of the Mayan world. For good reason. The art was impressive, especially the intricately carved stone and stelae commemorating past kings and ceremonies. One pyramid was made of stone blocks where each block was carved on the front with glyphs.
One thing I loved about Copán was that the jungle still has a hold on the ruins, though they are mostly cleared for tourists. Somehow it makes me happy that almost all great civilizations are claimed by nature and time.
Inside the museum at Copán, next to some butterfly carvings, I read that the Mayans believed their warriors were reincarnated into butterflies. Flitting around the ruins that day had been little irridescent blue butterflies. Hence the following poem.

Mayan Reincarnation
Soft wings
touching stelae
bare feet
whispers of legs
they say, the
reincarnation of Mayan warriors.

Fitting beginning
for lives living
to end.
limbs once
lifting for sacrifice
are now
as myth gives
truth birth,
that warriors

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