Bolt & bar the shutter,
For the foul winds blow:
Our minds are at their best this night,
...& I seem to know,
That everything outside us is
Mad as the mist & snow.
Nothing really prepares an individual for -12°C midnight kayak navigation underneath a dancing symphony of Aurora Borealis & the warm current drift. Who needs christmas lights & warm care anyway huh? Tromsø - the training ground of the hardy...or maybe the foolhardy says a pal with a familiar lopsided grin.
Either way, I have somehow become a repeat offender for well over a decade, sometimes in anger, sometimes in peace. I'd forgotten the turn of the years...Lars & his exploding pie recipe, iceberg bouldering in Speedos, snowaking, the wee girl who owns the coins....she must be a young woman by now...
She was 5 when she asked if I was a bad eskimo & we swapped coins...
I've always kept them - exactly where I said I would.
Immediate forward plan? Twin black knives, some deep water line, free running loops, Qajaasaarneq rope for a dawn workout, two big lobster over a bivouac fire & watch the Hogmanay fireworks from a shoreline out in the remote blackness. Somewhere where the shoreline is steeped in oxygen & even an inkling of a dram, a lit cigarette or faint sound in the clear air alerts the senses like a downwind perimeter alarm. Empty peace - has more appeal than a heaving cattle market a thousand strong, & choosing it, empowers against sitting amongst quiet walls twiddling my thumbs. Sometimes being a prisoner of freedom has a few advantages I guess. Living by consistent & recognizable markers of sleep & waking, transitory weather systems & dark & light; extradition gazes in on a bizarre circus of learned & expected ritual. There is more life alone out on the vast ocean around this time than there is on dry land. Better to cut your teeth on cold stone & roll the night surf mad, possessed, than blunt your soul waiting.
Have a good one whatever you may be doing. Really.