Unequal Equinox

15 March 2017

Day and Night are not equal on the Equinox.

In Canada’s Stonehenge, Gordon R Freeman dismisses the misconception that days and nights are of equal length during the Equinox. The Equinox signifies the date when the path of the Sun crosses the Equator, but the Equalnights, when day and night are 12 hours each, are a different matter altogether. Read the rest of this entry »


Celebrating Not Being Amused (Updated)

22 May 2016

the Holiday Formerly Known as Victoria Day.

Secular holidays are rather sad. They are considered long weekends, and have little to no cultural significance. For the longest time, the day off in August was called “August Civic Holiday” – doesn’t quite stir the heart like Halloween, now, does it?

However, this weekend is Victoria Day (Monday officially). In this corner of the world (Ottawa, Canada) a number of interesting things have started to happen around this time. People plant their gardens. The last frost date is the beginning of May, but this long weekend, people have dirt under their fingernails and that weird gardener’s glow about them. Last night was the full moon. And the past few days have seen a very palpable spring fever owing to the cabin fever of long winters.

But none of this is part of the official holiday, which celebrates Queen Victoria, the second-longest ruling British monarch, and Queen when so much promise of Settler-Native relations in Canada went completely to shit. Not really a monarch I want to celebrate. But what can we do? It’s already printed on all our calendars.

Transform these holidays. That’s the challenge before us. How can we take such a mysterious, powerful, and contentious figure as Queen Victoria and make it relevant? By not being amused.

The challenge, henceforth, for me (and you’re all welcome to join in. Please, feel free to join in), is to spend the day not being amused by anything. Maybe we should gather cadres of clowns and comedians around the statue of Q-Vic to see if they can get that bronze to crack a smile.

Here’s another little known fact about Ottawa, unless things have changed (now, why would things go and do that?), it’s home to the most Inuit outside of the North. The reason I bring this up is the real challenge to not being amused all day. Inuit women practice throat-singing. I learned that two women face each other, holds arms, and throat sing back and forth until one of them laughs.

It’s pretty intense if you’ve never heard it – the sound isn’t great but the throat-singing is awesome!

That’s the challenge – to develop something akin to throat-singing, and try, desperately, in the face of someone trying to make you laugh, not find it amusing. Best of fortune to youse guys.


Fête of the Abysmale

15 December 2015

abysmale-0

 This is the beginning of the 13 days of the Fête of the Abysmale, theAbysmal New Year.

Y3m0.jpgAs with several other New Year’s celebrations, each day of the fête previews the equivalent month in the upcoming year. Thirteen days works with thirteen months. There’s nothing saying it can’t be done with lunar months as well, however, there are roughly two years with 12 moons to every one with 13. Regardless, in years with 12 moons (like this year), then ignore the moons on Day 12, or look at Moon 0 for the following year.

Abysmale Day 0 (dec 15) gives us a glimpse into what awaits us during Month 0 (dec 22 – jan 18) as the days get longer in the Northern and shorter in the Southern hemisphere.

More than just 13 days of celebration, or some pseudo-astrology, it might serve us more pragmatically to think of it as a way of planning the year ahead, day-by-day, month-by-month. Say, today, while we reflect on Month 0 (dec 22 – jan 18), we can plan ahead for those four weeks. Then forget about it, or adjust it as need be. Nothing’s written in stone (except this blog, which is then digitized and posted).

Here’s what Month 0 in Year 3 looks like:

Day 0 – See Day 0

Day 3 – Full Moon

Day 10 – Gregorian, and other New Years

Day 11 – Perihelion, Earth’s closest pass to the Sun

Day 23 – Julian New Year

Weeks, Months, Quarters on theAbysmal calendar begin on Tuesday for Year 3. Tuesday is named, among a great many other things, after Tiw, or Mars, or Fire in three of the world’s widespread language families. It could mean anything, but Mars, the Roman god, watches over this day. Mars also represents vitality (the spear, ahem), and it is out of this strength of life that warriors are honed. If it has lost this meaning, we can always change its name. There are plenty of other names for weekdays available. If we’re going to keep using Tuesday, mardi, we may as well give it the spin that suits us best.

the Solstice, the shortest day in the north, longest in the south, and about the same near the Equator, where the sun appears to pass directly overhead at the southern tropic (of Capricorn).

Upon reflection, there’s one function of the calendar that’s assumed but not really looked at so much (at least not by me, and in all that I’ve read, not in terms that aren’t either too vague, or drawing on questionable source material, is the scheduling.

There are so many structures, parallels in numbers

2- to 20-day weeks for examples, or the wheel of the year.

13-day period, 13 weeks in a quarter, 13 months in a year. Parallels.

4 quarters in a year, 4 weeks in a month, 4 13-day periods in a house.

7 days in a week, 7 houses in a year, 7 13-day periods in a quarter.

Not to mention all the numbering madness in the 360-day market week part of the calendar. Let’s not overwhelm ourselves.

First, these 13 days of the Abysmale look ahead to the 13 months of the year, and ostensibly the 13 weeks of the first quarter. The same could be done with the 7-day week, which would predate the 7 houses of the year, the 7 13-day periods of the quarter.

In terms of planning and scheduling, it’s not a bad time to sweep out whatever happened last year and put in place something new. Not resolutions, but actual plans.

The numbering 0-12 for example, associated with days, weeks, months, years, can be differentiated by associating different symbols or stories with each measure. For example, instead of using the Cockerel to Flood series of months, one could use the 13 constellations that the sun passes through (astronomy) from Aries to Pisces. The days could be named after local animals, favourite pets, absolutely anything, and provided it has some meaning, tells some type of story to you, then it will be that much more effective. Instead of thinking of “Month 5” which is admittedly sterile, what does that time of year evoke where you are?

Use this period to look at each month in the year ahead, and name it by whatever scheme works best for you. At the end of the year, reassess. It can change from year-to-year. The numbers are key to an underlying structure, the symbols give it life.

The New Year’s Preview

This is the beginning of the 13 days of the Fete of the Abysmale, theAbysmal New Year.

As with several other New Year’s celebrations, each day of the fete previews the equivalent month in the upcoming year.

(dec 15) this day gives us a glimpse into what awaits us during Month 0 (dec 22 – jan 18) as the days get longer in the North and shorter in the South as we pass the solstice.

Y3-one-pager---weeks.jpg

More than just 13 days of celebration, or some pseudo-astrology, it might serve us more pragmatically to think of it as a way of planning the year ahead, month by month. Say, today, while we reflect on Month 0 (dec 22 – jan 18), we can plan ahead for those four weeks. Then forget about it, or adjust it as need be. Nothing’s written in stone (except this blog, which is then digitized and posted).

Year 3 ~ Month 0 (dec 22 – jan 18)

Day o – Northern Solstice
Day 3 – Full Moon

Day 10 – Gregorian, and other New Years
Day 11 – Perihelion, Earth’s closest pass to the Sun

Day 23 – Julian New Year

Weeks on theAbysmal calendar begin on Tuesday this year same as today, and so it will ever be. Tuesday is named, among a great many other things, after Tiw, or Mars, or Fire. It could mean anything, but let’s hope it’s the vitality of human ingenuity as opposed to, say, the wrath of some god or other. That never turns out well no matter how benevolent.

the Solstice, the shortest day in the north, longest in the south, where the sun appears to pass directly overhead at the southern tropic (of Capricorn).

As a Bonus and at no extra cost to you:

Every series of 0-12 periods of time can have a story associated with them, maybe to do with local seasons, or traditions, observances, celebrities, could be anything, honestly. You are encouraged to give it a go. It’s not as easy as it sounds, and doesn’t even have to be elaborate. Simpler’s better. Anyway, just give ‘er.

theAbysmal has hacked one out for you, currently being featured with the posts on the New Moons.

Day 0 of the Fete of the Abysmale celebrates that Gamecock, along with Lunation 0, and in a few days, Month 0. In these northern latitudes, that Gamecock crows at the sun as it crosses the sky, beginning its journey higher and higher, day by day, like the year’s equivalent to dawn.

mycelium - theAbysmal Color.jpg


Get your Stomping Shoes on!

19 November 2014

More Holy Days and Merry Making.

June 29th is the date, celebrating the arrival of John Davis to the shores of Greenland. The story below is from Arctic Dreams. theAbysmal Year 2, or the Gregorian 2015 marks the first annual celebration. Read the story below and see if you don’t agree that John Davis has a better claim to statues, being on our money, having pictures hung in public places, but unfortunately, he was an exceptional navigator and decent human being, so as a result, history has no time for him.

But we do. And what better way to celebrate than with music and dancing?! Call it the Settler’s Stomp, invite everyone from your community to bring instruments and dancing shoes. Most properly, it should open up with the aboriginal people from the land where you live (Anishnaabeg of Kitigan Zibi where I am), and dance the night away. If you’re lucky, some Inuit will teach you how not to laugh at throat singing.

“With the backing of adrian Gilbert, a prominent Devonshire physician, and William Sanderson, a London merchant-adenturer, and under the patronage of the Duke of Walsingham, Davis outfitted two small ships, the Sunneshine and the Mooneshine, the former with a four-piece orchestra, and sailed from Dartmouth on the Devon coast on June 7, 1585.

“Their first landfall was near present day [mid-1980s) Cape Walloe on the southeast coast of Greenland, but fog and the ice stream in the East Greenland Current held them off. “[T]he irksome noyse of the yse was such, that it bred strange conceites among us, so that we supposed the place to be vast and voyd of any sensible or vegitable creatures, whereupon I called the same Desolation.” The two ships stood out from Cape Farewell (Davis would so name it on his second voyage) and came to shore, finally, near the old Norse settlement at Godthab on July 29. And here took place one of the most memorable of meetings between cultures in all of arctic literature.

“Davis an several others were reconnoitering from the top of an island in what Davis had named Gilbert Sound when they were spotted by a group of [Inuit] on the shore, some of whom launched kayaks. They made “a lamentable noyse,” wrote John Jane, “… with great outcryes and skreechings: wee hearing them thought it had bene the howling of wolves.” Davis called on the orchestra to play and directed his officers and men to dance. The Eskimos cautiously approached in kayaks, two of them pulling very close to the beach. “Their pronunciation,” wrote Jane,” was very hollow through the throate, and their speach such as we could not understand: onely we allured them by friendly imbracings and signes of curtesie. At length one of them poynting up to the sunne with his hande, would presently strike his brest so hard, that we might hear the blowe.” John Ellis, master f the Mooneshine, began to imitate, pointing to the sun and striking his breast. One [Inuk} came ashore. They handed him pieces of their clothing, having nothing else to offer, and kept up their dancing, the orchestra playing the while.

“The following morning the ships’ commpanies were awakened by the very same people, standing on the same hill the officers hand stood on the day before. The Eskimos were playing on a drum, dancing and beckoning to them.

“(Davis’s courteous regard for the [Inuit] is unique in early arctic narratives He found them “a very tractable people, voyde of craft or double dealing….” He returned to the same spot on his second voyage; the moment of mutual recognition, and his reception, were tumultuous.)”


What Canadians have been forgetting about Remembrance Day

8 November 2014

Here’s the deal with Remembrance Day:

Most of us get it wrong. There is an official version, some of which is certainly true, however, there are aspects that are distorted, or may have once been true, yet are no longer.

The minute of silence at 11.11 11:11 is a ritual. In the course of a ritual, we return to the original time. That’s not quite right either. It’s as if the original time. 11.11.1918 were outside of time, and when we observe our moment of silence, we too are outside of time, no longer in 2014.  We share in the moment when peace emerged after all that carnage, and we finally had a moment to reflect on everything that we’d sacrificed.

Then our minute is over, and we’re back to the mundane time of 2014. We’ve been doing this for almost 100 years, and the power of this ritual is undeniable, yet, how much of it stays with us for the remaining 525,959 minutes of the year.

Although this ritual is founded firmly in remembering those who served in the War to End All Wars, Veterans of every subsequent conflict each and every one, whether fallen, wounded, or not, is a reminder that we’ve forgotten.

Canada’s true birthday

Regardless of the festival for confederation in July, in practice, Remembrance Day is Canada’s true birthday. This country joined the war as part of Great Britain, however, during the course of the war, soldiers from Canada proved themselves time and again in the worst possible place we could ever devise, and they earned the respect of the European community – the Germans first coined the term “stormtroopers” to describe the newly encountered Canadian forces.

[George Lucas, please forward all royalties for the use of this word to Veterans of Canada. I’m sure you are welcome for their sacrifice to help you devise a story about heroes.]

This is not a holiday that celebrates war by any means (see: July Fourth), but honours those who fought for those in need, family and allies, regardless of whether they were Canadians or Aboriginal Peoples who took up arms to help Canada to be born on their traditional lands.

[I’ve only just learned that Aboriginal Veterans have their own observation today, November 8th. My apologies for having overlooked that in the course of posting this message. I mean no disrespect, and will ensure that it is well and truly recognized on theAbysmal Calendar, and in my posts about holy days. Miigwech]

We have much to remember, and much to be grateful for.

The poppy – or more importantly, the red.

I find that especially in Ottawa, people without poppies at this time stand out – Newcomers to the city often wear them without knowing the significance, and many Canadians know the origins, but don’t understand the power of the symbol.

The blooming of so much life on fields churned up with the bodies of our kin is a promise – from so much sacrifice comes new life, a life coloured with the blood of the fallen. We all wear this poppy, red as a drop of blood, to indicate that the blood that we wear is the stain of bloodshed over our hearts along with our veterans. We share in the blood shed. This is our role to never forget. To wear our hearts on our sleeves as it were.

The Flag

The story of the flag is well recorded, however, we still struggle to understand our own symbols. In part, it’s because we live in a culture of diaspora, which gets confusing with so many symbol systems trying to be understood.

The two sides of the flag, once blue, represent the oceans, from sea to sea. They were later changed to red, which may have been done for petty political purposes, but it imbued our national banner with our history. Two oceans, red with blood.

Lest we forget. It’s there at every hockey game, to help us remember that every contest is a metaphor for war, and that we are blessed a thousand times over to not have fought these wars here. Lacrosse traditionally the little brother of war, replaced warfare to some degree. Warriors settle disputes on the field, while competing to please the Creator. If you’re looking for a way to settle disputes once every peaceful solution has been exhausted, there are better ways than scorching the Earth.

O Little Brother, Where Art Thou?

Seas of blood – one sea for the Indigenous People of Turtle Island, whose millions died in wars for European Settlers and those who followed  to live here, the other sea for all the men and women (lest we forget that it is more than soldiers who die in war) who gave their lives so Canada could assert itself to the international community.

Two seas of blood, lest we forget.

In the centre, the big red leaf. Never mind that the sugar maple only grows in parts of the country, and therefore doesn’t really symbolize all of the territory. It is firmly rooted in the ground, and that is truly what we all have in common, even if the flag might not represent us, it represents the roots we have set here. And the leaf is red, the red of the leaf about to fall. But it hasn’t. Not yet.

If you contemplate the leaf between the oceans of blood, you will notice that it isn’t just a leaf about to fall, but it is a heart (and not just because of my love for maple syrup).

If you want to sum up what is truly Canadian (our culture being so multifaceted, complex, and interdependent), the one thing all of us have in common is heart. Not a heart (although we have that too, and are even willing to give them to those in need), but heart. The quality of standing up when you can’t stand. The leaf that is ready to fall, yet doesn’t. The person who stands up for those who cannot, and stands strong in the face of ineffable horror.

This has always been the quality most admired in athletes. When their acts of willpower, of determination, of heart, teach us that our minds are infinitely more powerful than our bodies, especially when guided by our heart.

Remember.

Our veterans gave their all to support Canada and Canadians, to help others around the world when they need it. That is their duty. Our duty is to take care of them once they return.

We’ve forgotten.

Veterans are having benefits taken away. We’ve forgotten.
More soldiers die by suicide than in combat. We’ve forgotten.
Non-military people who have never served celebrate, cheer, clap, and smile as they send Canadian soldiers to combat on the other side of the world for unclear purposes. We’ve forgotten.

It’s time for us to remember, because we’re seeing what happens when we forget, and despite being reminded every year for nearly a century, we’ve mixed up the messages, and forgotten the unpleasant truth of the country.

We are born of blood on the graves of countless millions.

Let’s do our best not to add one more life to that list. Have we forgotten?

A final note, although the word Canada is fairly innocuous, rhetoric in recent years has tainted our once respected name. This country gained its name Canada with confederation – that’s the fun summer festival.

What was born out of the bloodshed of WW I is something different – Confederation was our birth, and 1867-1914 was our infancy. WW I was our coming of age, as we hadn’t even fully developed our sense of Newfoundland yet. Coming of age rites, when properly done, test heart, endurance, and integrity. We passed this test, and emerged as an adult nation, however, we never received an adult name.

Well, we did. Those of us who remember, who see the red of our symbols as both our blood shed, and our heart, who share in the blood shed in our name, who remember those who have sacrificed lives in our name, we have named ourselves: Canucks.

So, is Hoser a demonym?

The origins of this term are apocryphal, which is fine by me. The government of Canada takes care of Canada, and the people who live here take care of the Canuck part.

We don’t have a name for the Tribe of Canucks, so I propose Canuckistan©®™ (just covering all my bases).

This is a new agreement between Canucks, Canadians, all the peoples of Turtle Island, and those of the greater world – let us remember that this is a day to commemmorate sacrifice in the name of peace. And once it’s all said and done, enjoy every peaceful moment we have, because that’s what all the fighting was about.

Let’s try to remember every time Vancouver plays Montreal, Canucks vs Canadiens, for this is the very essence of Canada in peacetime.

Yet, we are not Canada in peacetime.

And let us remember who has honoured who in words and in deeds, and bravely, vocally, and steadfastly oppose those who violate this holy day for nepharious, deceptive, and un-Canuck-like reasons.

Let us show Veterans what we have learned about heart from their example, and remember.

Peaceful tranquility upon you for the rest of your days.

>Chicken Legs

#MyCanuckistan includes…


13 Days of Holy Days

30 October 2014

13 Days of Candy, Costumes, and the Horror? Yes Please.

My two favourite times of year in this part of the world (either the Anishnaabeg territory on Kitchissippi on Turtle Island, or Ottawa, Canada, North America) are late autumn and winter solstice.

I’ve sorted out a running narrative for a 13-day holiday, which works with theAbysmal Calendar, and with northern hemisphere holiday and traditions.

These include harvest festival elements: pumpkins and decorative gourd motherfuckers, bats (as the sun sets earlier and earlier, we encounter the crepuscular earlier and earlier), spiders who weave their eggs to carry until next year; wiccan traditions, the witch, cauldron, black cat, broom; new year’s traditions, the thinning of the veil between the underworld and ours, and so ghouls, zombies, the undead, revenants, etc. are the costumes of choice.

Looking at existing holidays and observations around this time, it seems that there are already a number of commemorations for those who have passed at this time.

to whit:

Oct 30
Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Political Repressions is an annual day of remembrance for victims of political repression in the Soviet Union.

All of those millions and millions of souls, killed in the purges, the pogroms, the gulags. If these days are meant to commemorate the dead, let us remember them, greet them as they pass, and wish them well until next year. They’ve been through enough in life, no need to be impolite in death.

Oct 31
Halloween, and with the Neopagans, the beginning of Samhain, the New Year.
All Saints’ Day, aka All Hallows aka Solemnity of All Saints aka Feast of All Saints aka Hallowmas is a ritual in several christian churches (the dates also vary), which acknowledges all saints, both known and unknown. This, too, touches on communication en masse with the other side, beyond the veil.

And getting inappropriately drunk in inappropriate costumes is the modern descendent for some reason.

Nov 1
Although this is technically All Saints’ Day, the observations begin the evening prior. Also, there are other observations at work here.

Dia de los Muertos, day of the Dead in Mexico, and many other countries. Although this is a three-day celebration, it fits together with our feasts of the dead. the celebrations include outings to the cemetery to pray for passed friends and family, decorate the tombstones, and colourful, skeletal decorations.

Nov 2
All Souls’ Day
A Christian day of prayer for the dead, typically ones family and relatives.

Nov 3
Nov 4

Nov 5
Firstly, this is theAbysmal mid-quarter day, and as such, is an international holiday. Just saying.
Secondly, it falls on Guy Fawkes Night in the Uk, NZ & Nfld, where that dear mad fellow whose mask is all over the Internet and streets these days, decided to bomb the British parliament. This has tones of an “underworld” although more criminal than spiritual, and in the case of mental illness, then it is the depths of the human mind.
Let’s celebrate him for the mask that levels the playing field.

Nov 6
Nov 7

Nov 8
Remembrance Sunday (at least in the UK) falls anywhere from here to Nov 14 depending on the year. It commemorates the British who fell in wartime.

Nov 9
Dia de los ñatitas
Day of the Skulls, the Bolivian day of the dead festival.

Nov 10

Nov 11
Remembrance Day (British Commonwealth)
Armistice Day (NZ, FR, BLG, SRB)

Where the war dead of the British Commonwealth are remembered.

This is the final day of the 13, and certainly there are dates without commemorations, and likely many commemorations that I have missed.

This date in particular is important to certain Canadians. When the poppy to commemorate the day go sale, they spread like wildfire, showing up on everyone’s lapel (I always lose mine. I buy 13 of the things every year). My personal beliefs, which I have heard echoed elsewhere, are that WWI was the true birth of the Canada we’ve come to know. It was a birth out of bloodshed, and it truly feels like the ceremonies in Canada are a mournful acknowledgement of the blood on which our country nourished itself.

something like that.

and the Canadian government just decided to go to war, while laughing and patting one another on the back. It seems the solemnity of the occasion is lost on them.

theAbysmal Holidays

At any rate folks, enjoy the holiday season, and remember, with theAbysmal Calendar [TM], you too could have 13 days of trick or treating, costume themed events, and painting the whole town black and orange. One other thing to consider, is that the way theAbysmal Calendar breaks down into 28 periods of 13-days, this holiday period happens to fall on the first 13-day period of the last House of the year. To whit:

t


Another Abysmal Holiday Suggestion

27 September 2014

John Davis had a corking good idea, back in, what one would have referred to as, “the day.”

I came across an anecdote about  John Davys, who explored through the Arctic. He did get a straight named after him, which is something I suppose. John Davys was an accomplished navigator and explorer, who concerned himself with less with politics and more with navigation, cartography, exploration.

Overexposure in 16th Century wood prints.

Excerpt from Arctic Dreams by Barry Lopez

p327-8
“Voyages of a very different sort were undertaken eight years later by John Davis, perhaps the most highly skilled of all the Elizabethan navigators, a man of a more seren disposition than the volatile Frobisher, much less the disciplinarian among his men, less acquisitive and less self-promoting of his achievements – part of the reason that he, of all the West Country mariners, was the one never knighted.

“With the backing of Adrian Gilbert, a prominent Devonshire physician, and William Sanderson, a London merchant-adventurer, and under the patronage of the Duke of Walsingham, Davis outfitted two small ships, the Sunneshine and the Mooneshine, the former with a four-piece orchestra, and sailed from Dartmouth on the Devon coast on June 7, 1585.

“Their first landfall was near present day [mid-1980s) Cape Walløe on the southeast coast of Greenland, but fog and the ice stream in the East Greenland Current held them off. “[T]he irksome noyse of the yse was such, that it bred strange conceites among us, so that we supposed the place to be vast and voyd of any sensible or vegitable creatures, whereupon I called the same Desolation.” The two ships stood out from Cape Farewell (Davis would so name it on his second voyage) and came to shore, finally, near th eold Norse settlement at Godthåb on July 29. And here took place one of the most memorable of meetings between cultures in all of arctic literature.

“Davis and several others were reconnoitering from the top of an island in what Davis had named Gilbert Sound when they were spotted by a group of [Inuit] on the shore, some of whom launched kayaks. They made “a lamentable noyse,” wrote John Jane, “… with great outcryes and skreechings: wee hearing them thought it had bene the howling of wolves.” Davis called on the orchestra to play and directed his officers and men to dance. The Eskimos cautiously approached in kayaks, two of them pulling very close to the beach. “Their pronunciation,” wrote Jane,” was very hollow through the throate, and their speach such as we could not understand: onely we allured them by friendly imbracings and signes of curtesie. At length one of them poynting up to the sunne with his hande, would presently strike his brest so hard, that we might hear the blowe.” John Ellis, master of the Mooneshine, began to imitate, pointing to the sun and striking his breast. One [Inuk} came ashore. They handed him pieces of their clothing, having nothing else to offer, and kept up their dancing, the orchestra playing the while.

“The following morning the ships’ commpanies were awakened by the very same people, standing on the same hill the officers hand stood on the day before. The [Inuit] were playing on a drum, dancing and beckoning to them.

“(Davis’s courteous regard for the [Inuit] is unique in early arctic narratives He found them “a very tractable people, voyde of craft or double dealing….” He returned to the same spot on his second voyage; the moment of mutual recognition, and his reception, were tumultuous.)”

p332

“Davis’s accomplishments on these trips are stunning. He laid down most of the Labrador coast on sailing charts, some 700 miles of the west coast of Greenland, and most of southwest Baffin Island. Hi notes on ice conditions, plants, animals, currents, and the interior of Greenland, as well as his ethnographic descriptions of [Inuit], were the first of their kind. He brought these lands not only onto the maps but into the realms of science. The “Traverse-Booke” he developed on the voyrages became the model for a standard ship’s log. The backstaff he developed anticipated the reflecting quadrant and the modern sextant. And The Seaman’s Secret (1594), much of it based on these thre voyages, became a seventeenth-century bible for English mariners.

I propose that July 29th be the holiday to meet one another with music and dance, smiles and acts of “curtesie.” I maintain that dancing and feasting together is one of the best ways of getting to know one another.

I’ll put this in the works – we can always use another excuse to dance (nobody needs a reason).