Midnight Sun

July 12, 2014 § Leave a comment

For M.

When I was in Iceland, towards the end of May, the time between sunset and sunrise became smaller each day. We used to look at the weather report and see the times inch closer to each other. The period of “night” became something like an hour or an hour and a half before I left, a quiet blue.

It feels here that it becomes “dark” or the point of least incidental light at around 12:30pm. The pull towards darkness begins at about 10:30pm when you see the long point of the sun just above the horizon and this shear of light gleams across everything and passes over the tops of the trees outside my window. There is a slice of peach to pink to purple in the sky then, sitting against the horizon, soft and beckoning, before it fades to the beautiful blue.

That blue colour draws down from the top most point of the sky, the shift is slow but total. The trees change colour, the ground changes colour, as does the building. There is a sheen of blue almost like an aura, and it surrounds everything. The contrast is low, and some far away objects become indistinct. Even sounds feel like they become blue, or crisper, with the slightest metallic edge. The wind in the trees carries and it sounds like water against the shore.

But there is still the light. The sky is opaque, that is how it feels, or like a pearl with that gleam, perhaps like blown glass –  it has this colour as if it were an object and I could place my hand against it.  There is enough light that bees still work amongst the flowers. The light promotes a restlessness. i am constantly looking through my blinds, watching the shift, trying to recognise the point when it is dark.

The air is cooler of course, and being outside at this time confuses me. The ground is cool against my feet, it is very quiet and still. My mind recognises the signs that say this is darkness, but of course it is not. i want to explore but I am scared. I do not know if animals are affected – do they come out at this time, are they less afraid? What might i fail to see? But I am also drawn – these blues are hypnotic.

I am scared my cameras will not capture this light. I have taken some with the phone camera, but they do not show the blue as all pervasive. These were taken variously from 10:30pm and 12:30pm last night.

midnight8 midnight7 midnight6 midnight5 midnight4 midnight3 midnight2 midnight1 midnight



All the lights which can be seen at the same time

August 6, 2013 § Leave a comment

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The shape of mountains. The weight of mountains. Stand at the base, the summit, the precipice. See how the clouds bend around the mountains? See how the light falls through and down, cascading like water. So many aspects seen at once. How everything changes.


April 12, 2013 § Leave a comment


the snow does strange things to my ocular sensitivity. the brightness of the fresh powdered snow sparks at the edge of my vision field. It made my hair gleam in front of my eyes as if under a black light. the outlines of my legs and arms as I walked had traces of ultraviolet in their wake, auras. certain light must bounce back, refracted, coating all the lines and contours with a fuzz of liquid purple, blue, glow.

Pulsating. Inside the supermarket it took ages for my eyes to adjust and when I closed them a lake of green. degenerate eyesight. pulsar state.


March 8, 2013 § Leave a comment

i feel like all my insides are raw, i think it is the cool air, it feels thinner up here, as if i am at high altitude. i could not sleep so i walked to the studio but i forgot my key so i had to go back home but i could not find my keys at all, which is frustrating. i thought they were in my pocket. my housemates had just returned home so i borrowed theirs.

some local kids were driving about town and they gave me a lift back to the house and then to the studio again. they wanted juice for their vodka, i guess they are not such seasoned drinkers that they can’t netk their vodka straight. the boys were your typical young 20s guys, eager, sardonic. broken english. the girls came into the studio to pee. they wanted to stay longer but i said no, to come back during the day.

the studio is about a 15 minute walk from the house. sometimes the road gets icy and i have almost slipped. now i make sure i tred firm, fast to the ground.

i took some more video of some machines in the town, the snow plow. i climbed some snow ridges and took photos of the beautiful mountain that overlooks the town. as the sun rises and travels then sets, the shade of the mountain and the way it forms relief against the sky changes in colour, hue, saturation. the outline of the mountain is so stark and crisp. like a cutout. it almost seems too real.

the light

February 5, 2013 § Leave a comment

heavy, hot, low sinking light. evening greens with wisps of corn silk yellow light. high white radiating light. my dad has given me his Nikon so I will get film today.

Books for the North – more reading

January 23, 2013 § 1 Comment

Albanov, In the Land of White Death
Barrow, Chronological History of Voyages into the Arctic Regions
Basho, The Narrow Road to the Deep North
Berton, Arctic Grail
Brandt, ed., The North Pole: A Narrative History
Davidson, The Idea of North
de Veer, Three Voyages of William Barentsz
Dillard, “An Expedition to the Pole”
Greely, Three Years of Arctic Service
Guttridge, The Ghosts of Cape Sabine
Kane, Arctic Explorations in Search of Sir John Franklin
Loomis, Weird and Tragic Shores
Lunde & Stone, Ibn Fadlan and the Land of Darkness
Mancall, Fatal Voyage
Mirsky, To the Arctic!
Nansen, Farthest North; In Northern Mists
Ransmayr, The Terrors of Ice and Darkness
Scoresby, An Account of the Arctic Regions
Shelley, Frankenstein
Spufford, I May be Some Time: Ice and the English Imagination
Verne, The Adventures of Captain Hatteras
Wilkinson, The Ice Balloon

January 14, 2013 § Leave a comment

In a normal world everything is falling apart. In the arctic circle there are no seasons or delineations of time like we experience, afternoon, then evening, then night. The sun doesn’t rise in the east, set in the west, sometimes it sets where it rose.

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