Saturday, November 28, 2009

What's the longest you've been in the dark?

Just reached the halfway point of my trip and wish I didn't have to go back. Does anyone want to take care of all my crap stateside so I don't ever have to leave?

People worried it'd be too cold or dark for me here but the reality is that Arctic Norway is probably warmer than a good portion of the northern U.S. and what light we do have is so other-wordly it's like watching the world's longest sunset.
(High Noon)

Still, I've been spending a lot of time in the comfort of a heated home. What would I know about cold and dark? (Cue vag joke)
Even in my discipline to spend as much time as possible outside, three hours of ambient haze without a car means I don't go very far. And yet I haven't felt The Need because I'm so comfortable with The Urge.

The Urge.
My Dutch housemate Maiten invited me to go with her to Sommarøy yesterday, because someone on the couchsurfing-dot-org forum she follows offered to carpool people to the remote island. The carpooler, Andrei, was a music teacher who had three lessons on the island (guitar, guitar, bass), and figured if anyone wanted to hitch a ride they may as well take the two other seats in his truck. That was Maiten and me.

The drive to Sommarøy was short but long.
Anyone who's driven up the windy roads to Big Bear or the Lick Observatory or anything similar will know what I mean. The distance isn't long but maaan is it windy. Of course we weren't driving up mountains, but along fjords. Imagine an ant traversing an a
ccordion's bellows. That was us.

When we finally got to the island, the view took my breath away.
Several times.
After my zillionth failed attempt to capture it on camera/film, I realized what made the scene breathtaking: the tenable sense of a beyond.

Before I took this trip I'd fantasized about ideas of going "north" for years. Dreams of sailing through glacial waters and looking straight up the façade of mineral deposits. Of course I've also fantasized about real estate and seven-figure book deals. I was doing nothing about any of my fantasies... That is, until I found myself prancing along the equator to Bali. Then, I had to. absolutely. without question. come up here. I couldn't put my finger on "why" until today.
When you look out from the edge of the edge of a place like Sommarøy, and see mountains, islands and waves leagues away, you get a tenable sense of the beyond. Something akin to looking up at stars and space, I'd imagine, but just close enough that you can fantasize being there.

I could fantasize being there, forever.

But that is the urge. To control that urge is key. When I went to Fløya the first time I was awestruck by the grandness of my surroundings, because I wasn't at the top of the mountain, but when I went the second time I was completely overwhelmed by having hit the summit. In Japan, you're supposed to watch the cherry blossoms fall, to appreciate the fleeting context of its splendor, whereas for most everyone else the point is to marvel at cotton candy trees.

And I guess what I'm describing is a mundane extension of Lacanian desire. I've been seduced by the North Pole!

(Anne heaves a starstruck sigh)
You sink with the heart, not with the mind.

[And I promise no more cheeseballs after this. For cheese please go to my vimeo daily video journal. I'm going back to dedicating this platform to funny.]

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'll make the bonfire.