Saturday, September 16, 2006

On a Mobius strip induced high

I've been on a high these couple of days. Yesterday, we went out for a barbecue after work, at a little picnic area by Boot Lake. I'm hoping that this fall weather will stretch for a at least another week, so that we could squeeze in a couple more barbecues.

This afternoon, I walked around on the ski-trails with a friend. Although I've lived in Inuvik for over three years, this was my first time on the trails. I truly felt exhilarated, surrounded by the majesty of the birch trees, looking at the world through the shroud of branches and yellow leaves. There were cranberries along the trail, and we couldn't resist stooping down to try a handful or two.

Even with the broken key, the new piano has provided me much enjoyment these few days. I've been tinkering at it, honing those favourites of mine: Debussy's “Arabesque” brought alive the soft pinks of the sky before sunset. I could almost smell the gentleness of a breeze, embracing those last notes of summer.

(Why do I seem to be on such an emotional roller-coaster?)

I've been reading Kenn Harper's Give Me My Father's Body, an account of the life of Minik, an Inuk boy who had been brought to New York by Robert Peary, an arctic explorer set out to reach the North Pole. He was one of six “Polar Eskimos” aboard Peary's ship, which was ironically named “Hope.” The whole group became a live exhibit on display at the Museum of Natural History. Shortly, four of the Inuit died of tuberculosis, one left to go back to Greenland, and eight-year-old Minik was left all alone in a foreign land. Because I'm up here, Minik's story has added meaning to me. Although over a century has passed since the boy had been taken from his home, I have somewhat of an understanding of lives lived out in the harsh arctic environment. Intriguingly, I discovered that Alfred Kroeber, one of the scientists who took an interest in Minik, was Ursula LeGuin's father. I had read LeGuin's Left Hand of Darkness years ago. How my world, the places I've been, the people I've met, the little bits of knowledge that have accumulated, are all interwoven into each other, twisted into a Mobius strip where all time and space run continuously, simultaneously.


  1. Thank you so much for your beautiful writing and pictures. They keep you near, and the north alive for me. i appreciate the north in ways I didn't because I get to see it through your eyes.

  2. I'm so glad your spirits are lifted. Fall is such a beautiful time of year. ...I bet the ski trails were a treasure to experience!