Marissa Lingen (mrissa) wrote,
Marissa Lingen

"There is no Dana. There is only Zool.": the holiday version

I will never tire of Midsummer and Midwinter. By which I mean, I will never tire of Midwinter, and I acknowledge that I have to have Midsummer with it for balance. (Like Arlo says, you can't have the thing without the other thing.) But sometimes it is not time for another fantasy novel Midwinter festival. Or Midsummer festival. Or even spring or fall equinox. Sometimes it is time for there to be a special thing that happens to magic once a year that isn't about light and darkness, warmth and cold, but is about magic's own thing. Sometimes it is time for there to be a holiday for the birthday of the first king, or the invention of the seed press, or the defeat of the horrible horrible enemy at the Battle of Wherever.

Midsummer and Midwinter have resonance. They have immense myffic whatsis. And I have leaned on that whatsis in the past, and will again. But what they do not have, so much, is texture. "This non-equatorial culture has a Midwinter Festival!" You don't say. Golly, just imagine. But if you say, yes, of course, Midwinter and Midsummer, harvest and planting, rhythms of life and all, but also, also, also the day when this nation cut loose from their neighbors to the west. Or the day when the founders landed on the barren bit of rock. Or the day when one subculture observes one thing while another is up to something completely different and the two of them are not entirely pleased with each other for doing it wrong and ruining the whole thing. Or the day when the decadent cityfolk drink and dance, but this is serious to the farmers! this is hard work!

And it's all being character again: you know something about my mother if I tell you she tends to observe Arbor Day whenever possible, as a suburban person in a non-agrarian culture. Similarly you will know something about Lord Wossname of Thatplace if you know that he does not give the servants the day off for the festival of fools and has lost two cooks over that point but will not yield, despite his sister's shouting on the subject. Do people know songs for Brewer's Thirdday, or is it a non-singing holiday? It's not about treatises. It's about what drops into the lines as you go.

It makes it nubbly. Sometimes you want things to flow past your fingertips without catching, but sometimes being able to feel and see the stitches is just what makes it interesting, and maybe a little beautiful. And also sometimes where your fingertips catch is where you've dropped a stitch, and you need to go in and repair it or rip out that row before you get any further, and that's all right, too, because it is worth doing right.
Tags: full of theories, summer is a foreign country, what we did

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