This enigmatic assertion seems to pour the sum total of our past into the present moment. It reminds me of Henry Miller’s description of the past not as being dead and buried ‘history’ but as something alive and ever fructifying the present.

For me the past feels like another country – like any place I could visit on earth today, it has people who are both different and similar, with customs and food that might be exotic, and much that can enrich, delight or baffle me.

The only difference is that most of those people are no longer living, even the ones who were so full of vitality of one kind or another that they seem to live on. I have real regret at not being able to ‘meet’ a few people from the past, and some of them will be featured on this website as worthy recipients of a Nuannaarpoq Award.


“Maybe we have lived only to be here now.” – an explorer.


Source: Barry Lopez, Arctic Dreams (London: Picador, 1987), p. 392 – the book that inspired this website; see the bestellar review complete with a rich mosaic of wise quotations and metaphors.

Photo credit: Samuel Zeller at


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