About Bonnie’s book, Crocodile Goes Out, available on Amazon:
I’ve loved books as long as I can remember. Mom limited me to 5 books a week because farm girls have chores to do but I still found time to read the horse stories and tales of life in other times and places that I loved. All that reading eventualy resulted in a scholarship to Harvard. Imagine coming from a school with 54 students and 6 teachers to Harvard. Thank my lucky stars for all those books! My interest in the life and land of the Maya began when I read Jose Arguelles book, “The Mayan Factor”in the late 1980’s.
Later, when I retired from the corporate world in 2004, we bought a condo in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, where I became immersed in the language and culture of the Maya. Mayan art surrounds me. Conversations on the street are frequently in Mayan. Evidence of their ancient civilization is visible all over town and the ruins of Tulum, Coba and other sites are close by. I scoured bookstores in Playa del Carmen and in Colorado for books about the Maya.
My search led to Carl Calleman, whose theories regarding a stele found at Coba were fascinating. According to Calleman’s book, “The Mayan Calendar and the Transformation of Consciousness”, nine cycles of human development would come to their conclusion on Oct. 28, 2011. I decided to chronicle the last 20 days on Facebook but I needed to remember the names of the Maya Day Lords in the right sequence, so I created a story to using the 20 Day Lord names in order with only a few extra words and began my chronicle of the countdown.
On Oct. 28th, 2011, as the nine cycles ended, we received a phone call saying our son, Adam, had died that morning of a heart attack. At the Celebration of Adam’s Life, in Telluride, CO, I met his friend, the artist Elizabeth McClellan.
The morning after the celebration a small group of friends and family walked along the San Miguel River to the beaver pond where Adam’s ashes were to be scattered but the ground was too marshy and we decided to release the ashes directly into the San Miguel. It had snowed the night before and the morning was starkly beautiful but overcast. As the ashes were poured into the river, the sun emerged from behind the mountains and lit a silvery plum that quickly spread down the river. I said to Elizabeth,” That reminds me of a story I wrote in Mexico”. I told her the tale of Crocodile Goes Out, and she said, “Let’s create a book together. I know Adam would like that”.
And that is how Crocodile Goes Out came to be written.
The twenty Day Lord glyphs of the Tzolkin calendar always follow the same cyclical order. The story in this book was created as a devise for remembering the twenty glyphs of the Mayan Calendar in proper order. Unlike Christian rectangular calendars, the calendars of the Maya are circular in design, without defined beginning or end. Scholars currently start the cycle with Crocodile and end it with Sun as has been done in this book.
Because the World of the Maya spreads over vast areas, it is continuously influencing and being influenced by other cultures with differing languages and artistic traditions. Thus, Day Lord names and symbols used to depict them vary by region and when the symbols were carved, painted or embroidered. This book endeavors to remain true to the style of the ancient glyphs while creating images that effectively convey their sacred meaning.