Flokia Raven Floki September 2004

Here is Raven Mats Keldsen at Haukadal in the West Fjords of Iceland, the home of Erik the Red and birthplace of Leif Erikson, who sailed to North America 1000 years ago. In July the Keldsen Family visited Denmark, Iceland and the Færoe Islands digging at our Viking Roots. After telling stories over and over like the one that follows we just had to go have a look… The stories begin in darkness. Every night after stories about Billy goats, bears, and little pigs, the lights in the bedroom are switched off and my four year old son Mats whispers, “Lets talk about the Viking Guys…” So the stories change to sagas of adventure and discovery as we talk about Eric (the Red One!) Leif, Bjarni, and Mats’ favorite, Hrafna Floki! Floki was a Norwegian Viking, who had settled for a time in the Faeroe Islands. He heard stories of a large island far to the west. Fierce North Atlantic storms had driven a few Viking Ships there, but no one had gone there intentionally and no one even knew exactly where this island was; they called it Snowland. Floki knew that he had to go to there. He had a ship and he had a crew…but how to find this place? He had an idea. First, he captured three ravens. Now ravens are strong, powerful birds, with sharp eyes, who can fly long distances, but they are land birds and cannot swim. Floki and his crew cast off toward the west and after two days sailing, they released a raven.

The first raven flew high into the sky, and then turned back in the direction from which they had come…back to the Faeroe Islands. Floki stayed on his westward course. After a few more days, he sent off the second raven…this raven flew high, circled Floki and his crew for hours, and finally…returned to the ship exhausted! Hmmmm…! Two days later the third raven was taken out of his cage. He flew above Floki’s ship and suddenly turned toward the northwest and disappeared over the horizon. Floki aimed the prow of his ship in the same direction and within one day he had landed! He called this newly discovered land Iceland and from that time he has been known as Hrafna Floki…Raven Floki! The waters of business can be treacherous too, and I am not sure that I would recommend ravens as a navigational aid. I do recommend though that you take a close look at our Retail Music News. In these pages you will find the products that you need to compete with the sharks that would like to eat your lunch and YOU too! Keep a firm hand on the helm.

Richard Keldsen
San Francisco
September 2004