began by asking myself: What are you looking for? Then I walked
a thousand miles in one long dream, only to slip on a blank sheet
of ice. Standing up, I fell again, this time the
Cold War prompted the military to build huge radar dishes,
and the island was transformed completely into a military base.
This gave Iñupiat jobs on the military’s Distant
Early Warning site, but their villages had to be moved yet again,
hunters could be confused for Russian infiltrators entering
the Dismal Depths....
emerged nearly two years later shivering and far away from where
I began. "Everything
seemed distorted by the ice; the distances were impossible
to calculate, and the way back passed through a valley of emptiness,
with no landmarks available, just miles of rubble."
across Route 28
& up the valley
used to be that one eureka followed another
like a mountain of paradigms with no summit. Not only
haven’t I found a mountain, but Arctic
explorers of the early twentieth century
like Robert Peary and even Roland Amundsen often made notes in their diaries
and other writings
of the impassivity or inscrutability of Inuit, little understanding that without
great emotional self-restraint,
life in Arctic conditions would, for human beings of any kind, be impossible.
To be inscrutable, which is to say,
restrained and self-contained in
the North there are no horizons; instead, a "cold
in one direction, I arrived at a place where there are no