July 26th 2016, (Gregorian) was the day out time in the Mayan calendar. This is more or less the equivalent of a leap day, in that the Mayan calendar consists of 13 months, 28 days each. That gives us only 364 days, so each year there is one day that is not part of any month. This is the day out of time.
If you don't know about how western society has taken the concept of time for ransom with an unnatural calendar, then it's a topic well worth looking into. (A good start would be to check out the work of Jose Arguelles.) In order to celebrate this day and promote the idea of natural time, a local musician named Cornflower organized a free show in Lithia Park in Ashland.
Cornflower is a brilliant artist with a bright spirit and unique style. His music is positive and spiritual, and absolutely beautiful to listen to. Using only loop pedals and his own voice, he creates a full, rich sound that seems like it's coming from a full band. I have included a video of his opening song, and even though the video quality isn't great (I had no tripod and my focus was off for much of it) you can get an idea of his sound.
We spent a good part of the day in the park, enjoying a nice picnic, going for a walk, taking a dip in the creek, and talking with friends we ran into. The kids enjoyed getting their faces painted (for free!) and we all enjoyed free iced tea from EcoTeas, an organic fair trade company that sponsored this event. There was also a booth where some volunteers were using essential oils to balance people's chakras. It was great to see so many people out and celebrating together, and the kids had a blast running around with their friends, chasing giant bubbles that a lady dressed like a unicorn was making. If you're unfamiliar with the culture of Ashland, this event sums it up pretty well.
As difficult as it is to wrap our heads around ideas like changing our calendar or changing our language, these are important aspects of shifting our culture away from the forceful, militant, materialistic paradigm under which we have all been living, vi coactus, for the last several thousand years. Even though we can't, for practical reasons, just switch over to natural time all at once, learning more about other ways of measuring time and honoring these ancient traditions with gatherings like this one is one step we can take.
Thanks to the Ashland community for being so open minded and free spirited, and thanks to Cornflower (etal.) for the great show!