The Stars, the Snow, the Fire: Twenty-Five Years in the Northern Wilderness: A Memoir

The Stars, the Snow, the Fire: Twenty-Five Years in the Northern Wilderness: A Memoir

The Stars, the Snow, the Fire: Twenty-Five Years in the Northern Wilderness: A Memoir

The Stars, the Snow, the Fire: Twenty-Five Years in the Northern Wilderness: A Memoir

Excerpt

In itself, chronology is seldom a satisfactory guide to the events of one's life, and in the present case is even less so. My time in the Far North amounts to both more and less than twenty- five years. It has been forty-two years now since I first settled at Richardson in the summer of 1947; I remained there only until late August of the following year. The longest and most active period of residence was hardly more than a dozen additional years--from 1954 until the late 1960s. We can add to this that for the past eight years I have again lived at Richardson, though with extended periods of absence. So that what is implied in a subtitle is at best a symbolic figure that stands for many arrivals and departures.

The actual writing of these pages has occurred long after the events, and mostly in other places: in California, Seattle, Montana, and the north of England. In reliving parts of the narrative, I seem to have wandered through a number of historical periods, geological epochs, and states of mind, always returning to a source, a country that is both specific and ideal. Perhaps, then, as much as it is about anything else, this book is about Time--one's sense of time, and the time in which certain events take place. This journey in and out of time cannot be adequately expressed by any sum of calendar years. In the sense in which I write, there is no progress, no destination, for the essence of things has already been known, the real place arrived at long ago.

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