Saturday, June 30, 2007
'If on a Winter's Night, a Traveler' ...
"To define the present in isolation is to kill it" - Paul Klee
I am not sure how to end my letters to you. To offer a quote and perhaps a few more fragments of my long event? Is that enough? I ask myself.
It is with a certain unsurity and hesistancy: returning home should always hover between relief and doubt. I found Ann Arbor quite the same yet warm and green. And within an hour, I caught my breath in landlocked suspense, missing the sense of water, of a fjørd, a route, if needed, and the possibility that an ocean current could carry off my past. I carried my objects back with me in addition to a few I had traded for: a Norwegian blanket, native food such as chocolate and candy, two Danish designed spoons, a pair of London shoes, and some random items that one can collect on foreign lands. The maps that guided my travels also allowed for my return voyage accompanied with filled notesbooks of data and narrative imagery of first hand experiences.
The movement of people across landscapes, all landscapes, has always eclipsed what one assumes to be their limit. During the past 1 1/2 weeks in Oslo and København, my nordic past awoke through the people and perhaps the assistance of few old relatives' ghosts hovering about me. I think if it weren't for a few living people who love me here, I may have decided to stay on with those old ghosts, re-awakening what my relatives once did by coming to the U.S. 100 years ago.
I don't think I am ready to turn my back on what my grandparents and relatives began. Weighted in their gestures is the a spacial sense of 'home', which can be created anywhere if given the time and patience. Borders are always built: we may unconsciously want them there. They serve their purpose, at times, to give us the freedom to remain in one place.
And in my usual thought pattern, I believe that there is still time to migrate,
to flock where one feels absolutely possessed with the knowledge of an open polar sea route.
I have decided to continue my letters to you. They are from home though and not from abroad. But I think the act of writing is often from far away. And there are always great distances to cross.
View outside my bedroom window in København at 11pm at night, still light.
The National Museum in København, Eskimology department in their Ethnographic wing.
Goggles used in Greenland to aid hunters so that they can see in the blinding summer light reflections off the snow and ice.
Shoes dug up in an old section of København a few years ago.
A newer artifact deserted for the future to someday dig up.
And where it may quite possibly end up.