Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Into the Far Country

Today, August 11, it is warm and sunny along the south shore of Lake Ontario, but the ice is not far away. Just a drive to Ottawa and a flight of several hundred miles north into Nunuvut in the Canadian High Arctic. I'll be there by Friday. On board a ship, the Academik Ioffe, a former Russian reserch vessel that will take me on a vagabond poet's expedition of the polar regions and Greenland--the Far Country

I imagine it, difficult to do with my neighbor's garden awash in floral beauty within eyeshot and the hummingbirds nipping in and out of the lush white Rose of Sharon. Hard to imagine the white of Baffin Bay. Perhaps it will look much like the wonderland in the photo here, one taken from aboard ship in Antarctica, the nether antipode I visited almost two years ago. How will the poles differ? What ice remains? How is the Arctic changing? How will I be changed?

To be continued upon my return from the world that swallowed Sir John Franklin and his crew and his two ships and the dog and the monkey that voyaged with them on that doomed expedition to find the Northwest Passage in 1845.