Svalbard, II

Out my window nothing but blue. Tall blue shadows falling from dark dolerite pillars standing guard over a fjord filled with abandoned mines and coal dust, crawling with a new kind of explorer - people on snowmobiles and roads dotted with street lights - they make a funny world out of a fjord.  But the ground remembers.  The blue, they can't shake the blue, nor can they bid the sun to arrive any earlier than it did 3.3 billion years ago.  There is something immovable about the rhythm of this place - the plunging of peak to core and the long slow rise of depth to surface, granite cutting through time regardless of what we call it (intrusion? Caledonian Orogeny?) or what it will be called in millennia to come (?).   What we see between Sørkapp and Isfjorden is not what the mountains behind our backs or under our feet know it to be - consolidated moraine, glaciofluvial deposits and drop deposits from melting icebergs calved from glaciers 600 million years ago.

Time is just a word.  Age could never be classified when crust and plates and ranges are all just stories in your long-shadowed memory.  An island, even, just for a moment. The snow, the ice, the unnamed shades of blue - just shadows passing the long afternoon, a single day in a lifetime of color, shape, sound, names.  The dark pillars standing sentry will have forgotten it all by tomorrow, and when the light finally comes back, the word blue will have long vanished from the mouth of the sky, and some new brave utterance will be carried by the wind to fill the hollow of a new valley, a different rock standing guard on its edge, a new set of eyes to watch the people run about and classify everything.  Without time, no one carries a name, has a place or a color to call their own.  But with it, I can stare out my window at a mountain made of 200 million year old rock and smile because it is undeniably blue.


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