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Autumn

Termination Dust, Alaska

“Autumn is more a season of the soul than of nature.”

Friedrich Nietzsche


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?

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One Man's Paradise, Quote

Comfort & Security

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.”

Ken Ilgunas


Here is to freedom.

Springtime, Alaska
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This is What You Shall Do

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.”

Walt Whitman

What will the New Year bring?

More of the same?

Something new?

Do I have a say in this?

It may be worthwhile coming back to Walt Whitman’s quote throughout the year and revisit…

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Inside Out

Hollowness

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“Never was there, perhaps, more hollowness at heart than at present, and here in the United States.”

Walt Whitman, 1871


The above quote is from Walt Whitman’s essay “Democratic Vistas”. I recommend reading the whole piece, seriously.

“I say we had best look our times and lands searchingly in the face, like a physician diagnosing some deep disease. Never was there, perhaps, more hollowness at heart than at present, and here in the United States. Genuine belief seems to have left us. The underlying principles of the States are not honestly believ’d in, (for all this hectic glow, and these melodramatic screamings,) nor is humanity itself believ’d in. What penetrating eye does not everywhere see through the mask? The spectacle is appalling. We live in an atmosphere of hypocrisy throughout.”

For five months I have been largely sheltered from the news. What a peaceful and harmonious experience in an otherwise chaotic and frantic world.

Unfortunately our internet was upgraded a week ago and I have gobbled up the news like a thirsty desert hiker. Only to be left feeling nauseous.

 

 

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Heaven Or Hell?

“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.

So?

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.

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Instead of Words

“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.]

 

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In no particular order – № 1

“I am pessimistic about the human race because it is too ingenious for its own good. Our approach to nature is to beat it into submission. We would stand a better chance of survival if we accommodated ourselves to this planet and viewed it appreciatively instead of skeptically and dictatorially.”

Elwyn Brooks White


Elwyn Brooks White is the author of Charlotte’s Web and Stuart Little.

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