Every nation gets the government it deserves.
Joseph de Maistre
“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life.”
Henry David Thoreau
Wishing you all a thick skin, plenty of food, and shelter for the uncomfortable days and nights.
“You only get one sunrise
and one sunset a day,
and you only get
so many days on the planet. “
Thinking back about my summer in the Arctic I am dearly reminded that we only get so many days on the planet, although for months the sun would not set nor rise.
When days and nights unite in the Arctic summer time seems to stand still for a while. Nothing tells us that it is midnight and we should be asleep, or midday and we should have lunch. Without access to daily news, TV episodes, shopping days, release dates, and scheduled appointmements it is possible to forget about time…
Until summer changes to winter. Then, time stands still, or at least moves very slowly, so it feels during long, dark nights.
Summer or winter, the light up North feels special. Like a gift of Nature. Food for the soul when it’s abundant. And like an essential vitamin, when it’s sparse?
It feels like an eternity that I have left the Arctic, although it’s just been a few weeks. That must mean I miss it…
“Autumn is more a season of the soul than of nature.”
I had so many good intentions about documenting my adventures this year in the Arctic:
Months without sunrise or sunset.
The first fireweed flower of the season.
The scares of wildfires abound.
Floating through the Gates of the Arctic.
Climbing Mt. Dillon.
Where did it all go? Well, there were so many thrilling moments this summer, I found just enough time to breathe, eat, and occasionally sleep.
Hope your summer was a great one.
Officially we are still having fall, although winter is knocking heavily on its doors in some places of North America.
How does your soul feel about the impending transition?
“When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.”
It’s been a while.
I did unplug myself.
The world kept spinning in the meantime and the same nonsense is still going on.
When I turned my computer back on I learned that I am several updates behind. The apps that I have been using for years will not work in the near future. What is this?
I am going back to reading books. They don’t become obsolete and they work off-grid.
Speaking of books here is something I can recommend: “Walden on wheels” by Ken Ilgunas. As a young man Ken travels to Alaska to work at a remote camp, hitches back to New York and starts living in a van to save on rent and other expenses that suck your bank account dry.
I am halfway through the book and my favorite quote is:
“Comfort and security, when overprescribed can be poisonous to the soul – an illness that no amount of love can cure, freedom being the only antidote.”
Here is to freedom.
“Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body.”
What will the New Year bring?
More of the same?
Do I have a say in this?
It may be worthwhile coming back to Walt Whitman’s quote throughout the year and revisit…
Wishing you all a peaceful and joyous holiday season. May 2019 bring you health and happiness.
“Want to keep Christ in Christmas? Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, forgive the guilty, welcome the unwanted, care for the ill, love your enemies, and do unto others as you would have done unto you.”
“Go to heaven for the climate and hell for the company.”
Benjamin Franklin Wade
First I though Mr. Wade was a visionary, who predicted climate change in 1856: Pleasant temperatures and a soothing climate in heaven, or the opposite in hell, aka “hotter than hell”. The latter pretty much describes the direction we are currently heading.
Then I found out the above quote was Mr. Wade’s answer, when he was asked to provide an opinion on heaven and hell.
What’s to say about climate change? I believe climate change is real, meaning there is a trend of rising surface and water temperatures that coincides with industrialization and human population growth. There is no doubt in my mind. How about you?
The real questions are:
Is this rise in temperature relevant?
Is it caused or affected by humans?
Should we do something about it?
Can we do something about it?
It is easy to brush this topic aside and leave it up to the politicians to make decisions for us. We will not burn up within our generation, but it surly won’t be pleasant down here in the long run if the average temperatures keep going up.
Then what? Looking forward to good company in hell?
I am not sure Mr. Wade was all too serious with his statement.
“If I could say it in words
there would be no reason to take photographs.”
inspired by Edward Hopper
Edward Hopper did paint American scenes of daily life. His most famous painting is Nighthawks, an oil on canvas painting that portrays people in a downtown diner late at night. The original can be viewed at the Art Institute of Chicago.
One of his paintings sold for $36 million in 2013, 46 years after his death.
[Art is business, which may not benefit the artist.]