Saturday, May 12, 2007
This is not one of these days when I usually ask myself the question : why am I here? These days used to be when the pulka is sliding heavily in the deep snow or when the wind tumbles down the mountain side and makes the tent rumble.
This is not one of these days, this is a day when the sun slowly makes its way down towards the horizon but turns just before and starts to rise once more.
This is a day when the whole world is smoothly painted in a warm yellow colour and the clear blue sky makes the surrounding mountains to be never ending.
A blue colour that is light and dark blue at the same time, a colour that can only be found where the air is clean and dry, a beautiful colour. This a day when I know why I’m here.
I’ve been on trips before by ski, by foot, by the song of the paddle when it whispers its dripping song in the dark water that belongs to the beaver and the pike. Over sea I’ve travelled and time from time the question pops up : why am I doing this? Why do I leave my comfortable flat with hot water from a tap and a fridge full of food ?
This question is not easy but today I know the answer. As I managed to find it many times before, I found the answer while we move North with the sun shining from the side and our shadows stretching out on the other.
I feel complete, complete and fulfilled. I had this feeling before and I wouldn’t trade this moment for anything; this moment is worth the trip, a long trip. I do feel complete at home, at home with the ones I love, at home in a city, complete in a city with its pulse. I like cities, I like to be out.
There is a difference, a small non-named difference that I never managed to put in words : difference between the “at home” and the “out here” completeness. And this might be the reason why I’m still going on trips : to feel the completeness when your mind is somehow closer to nature, when the step between you and the surrounding is small and your life is attached and dependant on the nature around you.
You do not need to go on a long trip, the feeling of being complete can appear anywhere. It can be found in music, in art, in woodcraft, but today I feel complete. Today is a good day a good day to feel complete. We have so far not experienced a bad day, a bad day without a moment when light lifts the compact cloud cover, when sprikling light sends a Gloria on the slopes or the snow drifts. I think it was Ibsen, the Norwegian poet, that once said the words : “here, up on the mountains, here is God and down in the valley there are the others, dwelling”.
Today is a good day, a good day and I feel complete but I wouldn’t say that this is any religious feeling and I do not consider myself as a supreme being, a mythic hero or extraordinary man. I am only myself, living my simple life as it goes and for the moment in a lovely surrounding with a feeling of being complete.
The mountains, the snow, glaciers, sun and sky, everything feels so close and feels so far away. My body slowly works his way North but I’m not here for skiing, not for putting one foot in front of the other. I’m here because this is part of my life and feeling complete is part of my life. Feeling complete up here and at home.
The sun’s never ending journey over our heads reaches its lowest point and disappears behind a mountain. Cold air runs over the slopes and over glaciers, it’s time to make a camp. My moment of philosophy turns into the routine of our everyday life : putting up tents, melting snow and cooking food and sliding into the sleeping bag and into the world of dreams.
But the good feeling is still there, the feeling of being complete.
PS : this blog was written a few days ago. Today, the 9th of May is the second day we spend in our thirtieth camp, the second due to both bad weather conditions and to the love-sickness-rescue-patrol that was sent out from Longyearbyen to please the youngest and the oldest members of our team now when we just covered half way of our trip. Life is still good to us and I’m still having the feeling of being complete but the question of why we are all here on this planet will still be without an answer. Some questions are just not to completely answered.
N.B. from the blog support team : this article was sent three days ago.