Those repetitive sounds drive me into meditation and melt into the silence of the surrounding landscapes. Sun circles around us, low on horizon, bathing everything in holy light. Locked icebergs rise from the flat sea ice as cathedrals, as transcient temples that will unlock soon, float away and thaw on their way south.
At the ice edge that we finally reach and camp there for days waiting narwhals, blocks of sea ice come and go with tides. Seals emerge from cold waters and dive in again, birds squawk and cry as they fly over in search for fish, in distance, whales produce their splashing sound… Ice edge is a whole new world for me, dynamic, full of sounds, full of life. Naimangitsoq, however, remains silent, watching toward the sea for days, waiting for narwhals.
In a month, it will all be open water, icebergs will float away, sea ice will thaw, world will change. Maybe that’s why the beauty here is stronger than elsewhere. Because it is ephemeral. Because it is transient.
Naimanngitsoq sits in his kayak, takes his harpoon and paddles away while his dogs watch him from the ice edge. This picture is archetypal. Its continuity throughout the ages, throughout all the changes of seasons and all the challenges of history, contributes to the inner beauty of this unique place.
No other people that have ever tried to sustain here in cooperation with nature, including Vikings and Danes, have been successful.
Thule people are the only victors of survival in this harsh world, in this cold heaven.
Having opportunity to travel on the dogsled with them, and witness the living art of survival is a true blessing that I’m deeply grateful for.