Description: Beginning in 1993, Ehrlich traveled to Greenland, the northernmost country in the world, in every season–the four months of perpetual dark (in which the average temperature is 25 degrees below zero), the four months of constant daylight, and the twilight seasons in between–traveling up the west coast, often by dogsled, and befriending the resilient and generous Inuits along the way. Greenland, unlike its name, is 95 percent ice–a landscape of deep rock-walled fjords, glaciers, narwhal whales swimming among icebergs the size of football fields, walruses busting through oceans of shifting ice. In the far north, the polar Inuit–the “real heroes”–still dress in bear and seal skins, and hunt walrus, polar bears, and whales with harpoons. The only constant is weather and the perilous movements of ice, the only transport is dogsled, and the closest village may be a month and a half-long dogsled journey away. The people share an austere and harsh life, lightened with humor and the fantastic stories of Sila, the god of weather, Nerrivik, the goddess of waters, of humans transforming themselves into animals, and interspecies marriages. Interwoven with Ehrlich’s journey is the even more remarkable story of Knud Rasmussen, the founder of Eskimology, an Inuit-Danish explorer and ethnographer who took some of the most hazardous and brilliant expeditions ever, including a three and a half-year, 20,000-mile adventure by dogsled across the polar north to Alaska.
Opening: The glaciers are rivers, the sky is stuck solid, the water is ink, the mountains are lights that go on and off. Sometimes I lie in my sleeping bag and recite a line from a Robert Lowell poem over and over: ‘Any clear thing that blinds us with surprise.’
My first dip in now and again of 2016 and for hours at a time I was transported, however every now and again was jolted out of my snow suit and high adventure to look at the writing: hate that when it happens.
3.75* and now away to the sauna with me.
ICapital of Greenland, Nuuk: 05:01:2016 – A visit to Greenland to see how BREXIT may work