Saturday, 15 March 2014

Hello from Qikiqtarjuaq

I've been offline a while. Now I'm in Qikiqtarjuaq for IUT Board meetings (the people I work for). I haven't been outside Iqaluit in tolerable weather in a while; I know that we see stars out at night in Iqaluit but Iqaluit is growing and there's getting to be a lot of light pollution. I didn't really think of that but here in Qikiqtarjuaq I noticed a lot more stars are visible.

There are flat ice bergs in the bay (or strait). Big ones. Only flat.

I was out having my morning smoke this morning while it was still a bit dark. There was a star just barely touching a mountain top before it disappeared in time. It was magical and made me realize why the Mayans were obsessed with astronomical cycles.

With the use of landmarks or signposts the spin of the planet (or the firmament, if you're geocentric) is perceptible, and over time one can imagine someone hitting upon the idea of designing a calendar (only here in the Arctic we have dark winters but 24-hour daylight in the summertime so astronomy never really caught on). Lunar and solar cycles are well and fine and these were used to predict seasonal availability of prey animals; the planet is organically alive when one assumes this perspective.