Notes from Nowhere

fimmtudagur, september 15, 2005

On another Northbound train

I am a compulsive packer. It is impossible for me to go anywhere without at least five journals, a guitar, full waterproof kit, camera with spare lenses and a generous emergency supply of chocolate.

Therefore, in order for me to go on a journey, I have to have about a week to prepare, and get into training months before, if I'm going to be able to carry the suitcase. Today marked continuity with and a break from this tradition.

I don't think of myself as an apologist for technology. But today's change in practice is largely down to my erstwhile companion, my pocket telephone, and a good, human, friend. Instead of taking a compact disc player, headphones and discs, I was able to sideload the new album by Sigur Ros, along with some other old faves; Oraison by Olivier Messaien, PJ Harvey's Peel 60 Sessions, some John Cage, Allegri, and Arvo Part's sublime Tabula Rasa, all onto my little touchscreen. I downloaded a copy of Joyce's Ulysses from the Gutenberg project and sent myself an email with all the information needed for my major creative project. Whether or not I will justify these resources by use remains to be known.

And this morning, my best friend Bob, enthusing, beautiful and generous hearted as ever, lent me his extremely good wilderness equipment. This man was the first I ever felt comfortable being completely quiet with. It is as if there is some deep river in his soul that, if you listen closely enough, will refresh the World. When I had been living amongst the Modernists, he reawoke my heart to the beauty of the music of my youth. Bob was there when I was way down and he showed me a way to live, he is there with me at the top of every mountain. And he understood and shared my yearning for the North, just as I understand and share his desire to genially converse with, to know and love reality on her smallest and largest scales.

We rejoiced in the design of these things- that- make- you- warm, and that fold up small, because of their reliance for insulation and compactness on that great universal, the air. Sometime later, with me excited and anxious, stalling for time, he conveyed, with his barren silence, 'Now is time to go, friend.'

I left the house, to grey skies and rain, seeking to venture further North, not knowing how the climate will welcome me, not knowing what I'll find when I swap the map of those wild western shores for the territory, not knowing whether one day soon I might awake in those lands where the Sun sometimes never claws his heavy head up over the horizon, inside the Arctic Circle.


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