This describes one of those timeless stretches when you step outside the sturm und drang and step into flow of one kind or another. This is the detachment we find each in our own way, but commonly it seems to involve contact with a natural setting, or being involved in something you love.  Here a sledge across the Arctic, there a walk through a wood.

It doesn’t really matter except that it allows you to both detach (from noise) and connect (to signal) at the same time.

‘And he told me stories of his experiences in the Arctic in the 1920s, when travel was by dog sledge.  He described one time in particular, of sledging across smooth coastal ice in brilliant spring weather, mile after mile. Time fell away. He experienced a detachment so peaceful, he said, that in his scientific mind he solved problem after problem.  He spoke to me with the tones of someone remembering once having fallen in love.  He was charming, a man nearing the end of a life of rich, authentic moments.’ 

See David Esterly’s skiing to stop time.  And enjoy our quote-mosaic celebration of Barry Lopez’ splendid book, also available in audio form.


Source: Barry Lopez, Arctic Dreams (London: Picador, 1987), p. 225

Photo credit: Ali Inay at unsplash


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