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Hey Miguel,

Hope you can read my handwriting here. I knocked on your door for a bit with no answer. I’m hungover, too, so I don’t want to hang out here on the porch in the sun forever.

Anyway, attached is a first draft of a post about the summer solstice that Dr. Leucas told me to write. He also told me to run it by you before we post it. But you have to give me any comments by three today because we post the final version at 5:30, just before the exact moment of solstice. Thomas will help me with the science, of course.

Hope you’re up and at `em soon.


P.P.S.  If you had answered the door, I was going to greet you like this: “Summer is coming, Lord Starkweather, and it could last forever.”  Ha ha. Get it? Bet you’re sorry you missed me now.


A Midsummer Day’s Eclipse (First Draft)

The summer solstice in The Hayfield occurs exactly when the Earth’s axial tilt is most inclined under the hayfield towards the sun at a maximum tilt of 23°, 26′ and just as the poet Demod Smith breaks open his pen to let its ink redact the untidy world of a drunk farmer named Arnie. Coincidentally, at the precise moment of solstice (23°, 26.23′) Arnie’s blood alcohol content (BAC) is .23 and his backward fall creates another 23° angle between the line of the hayfield and the line from the work boots to his tangled mane of silver hair.

Though the summer solstice is an instant in time, the term is also colloquially used to refer to the day on which it occurs. Much like “midsummer”. With the exception of Arnie’s kitchen, where light can be continuous for weeks as he goes on his benders, the day on which the summer solstice occurs is the day of the year with the longest period of daylight. Thus the seasonal significance of the summer solstice is in the reversal of the gradual shortening of nights and lengthening of days. The solstice sun seemingly stops near the end of what had been a southern and ever lower skywalk, it pauses, and then heads back up north toward higher and wider passes over The Hayfield’s characters, writers, and scholars.

The word solstice derives from the Latin sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still).

Worldwide, interpretation of the event has varied from culture to culture, but most cultures recognize it as a moment or sign of the earth’s fertility, involving holidays, festivals, rituals or other celebrations around that time. But in The Hayfield, the solstice is a sign of alcohol’s usefulness at those events, therefore, deserving of even more holidays, festivals, rituals or other celebrations around that time and all other times.

2 Responses to “Line 42: “our sun””

  1. Karen,
    Just rolled out of bed. This draft’s a good start to something, but it still reads like a derivative wikipedia snoozer. Let’s keep working on it together before we post it on-line. Tell me more about how Thomas figured out Arnie’s angle and blood alcohol content at the solstice, and then we’ll try to revise the pinche solstice science around that. The both of you should come over this evening. Bring the draft and some beer.

  2. Miguel,

    Just checking for Dr. Leucas on the progress of this draft. I could sense he wanted to ask about it.

    Did you all get anything done yesterday? The solstice and eclipse in the poem have already passed, just as it has in real life, so we may have already missed our chance to post some timely material. Our readers might have appreciated that. And I might have appreciated the chance to go over the “Solstice” draft last night with Karen, my disappearing girlfriend, and perhaps rekindle what we had before we came to this godforsaken foggy hole in the boondocks, which is to say a common passion for lyric renditions of all things solar, lunar and stellar, a passion and love for everything and everyone who comes in the night. But instead of an entanglement under the sun and stars with me, she spent it partying with you at the cabin, and the longest day of the year seemed longer and all that solstice shine was eclipsed by my darkening moons.

    Yes, just checking on the status of the draft. Any update? Re your BAC question, I have half a mind to go back out to the hayfield and listen to the poem and Arnie’s prayer so that I can sort it all out myself.


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