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Monday, 21 June 2010

Breaking the Ice


File:Iceberg near sanderson hope 2007-07-24  1.jpg

Deteriorating iceberg, southeast of Upernavik, Greenland, 24 July to 21 August, 2007: photo by Kim Hansen

The ancient suggested we must endure our thoughts -- bright obviousness the only soldier in that army

left standing -- at attention, motionless

in the cold. Now in the night of the South

it is the turning of the year, now in the night of the North it is the turning

of the year, the last day of a certain year beyond which there is nothing left of time

passing in the remorseless dark. The mass

continues to disintegrate, successive calvings over a matter of days having

left it adrift and sinking into the harbour mouth. So it comes to this winter summer thought

looking forward and looking back. Now in the South there is this sound of the ice breaking

now there is the sound

of the splash.

File:Iceberg with hole near sanderson hope  2007-07-28 1.jpg

File:Iceberg with hole near sanderson hope  2007-07-28 2.jpg

File:Iceberg drifting towards upernavik  2007-07-31.jpg

File:Iceberg upernavik 2007-08-16.jpg

File:Broken iceberg upernavik 2007-08-21  1.jpg

Deteriorating and drifting iceberg, southeast of Upernavik, Greenland, 24 July to 21 August, 2007: photos by Kim Hansen


Sandra (if) said...




Amazing pictures ("worth a thousand words") of that ice floating in that water, blue-white of sky above it, brown of Greenland hills behind it ("we must endure
our own thoughts"). . . .


light coming into sky above black plane
of ridge, silver of planet above branch
in foreground, sound of wave in channel

picture, “without measuring”
made the morning depart

as coming to presence itself,
such that, “unconcealed”

cloudless blue sky reflected in channel,
shadowed green slope of ridge across it

TC said...

Between 1991 and 2004, monitoring of the weather at one location in Greenland (Swiss Camp) showed that the average winter temperature had risen almost 6 °C (11 °F).

Thus the rapid deterioration of the ice.

leigh tuplin said...

I've always wanted to visit anywhere that has icebergs - they seem to be perfect sculpture, and I don't use the word 'perfect'lightly - so many answer all the sculptural questions. It's wrong when art disappears.

Curtis Roberts said...

Remarkable to see the ice blue scene and read this poem after the Kirchner series. And I wholly agree with Leigh's description. Regarding the implications, and even the veracity, of the temperature rise, at this point I simply don't know what to say or make of the information that's provided me from various sources, each of whom (present company excepted, obviously, and I'm always grateful to learn something new) claims to be unimpeachable and seems to want something from me.

Julia said...


TC said...

Gracias, Julia, it is good to hear from you, and from Sandra, two voices from the South, at this time of the turning of the year.

Thank you, Leigh, for this: "It's wrong when art disappears."

The Great Works of Time, to borrow a phrase used by Marvell in another context.

About whether or not climate change is a fact, I think the news on that front has been signalled by the fires on the mountaintops across the seas and from Troy to here and back again, long since.

The news, then, really not so new, just consciousness

as coming to presence itself,
such that, “unconcealed”

& c. (Stephen's meteorological phenomenology)

About the temperature rise in the waters of Greenland, I don't think that's something somebody made up to support some argument or other.

Any "source" that has a stake, any interested party, any politically motivated viewpoint, as far as I am concerned, is worthless.

I don't believe this is a matter of parties and sides. As with massive oil drilling, massive emissions, all down the line, how much time does the planet have left to endure all this?

I don't believe the climate data is opinion. It has the bright obviousness of facts in dreams.

To make up for some of that icemelt I've painted these mountains white.

Julia said...

I'm always around here, though silent, sometimes :-)

"It has the bright obviousness of facts in dreams." This line was a kind of epiphany for me today... thank you!

Curtis Roberts said...

"I don't believe this is a matter of parties and sides." I wish more people agreed with you about this. I do but I despair at the number of politically and financially motivated stakeholders who seek to deceive as a matter of discipline.

TC said...


I'm the grateful party, speaking of parties. A benign intelligent presence is a rare blessing (summer snow).


Maybe this brings things back round to Mundus vult decipi?

"...stakeholders who seek to deceive as a matter of discipline..."

I don't envy you having to scale that dark cataract of deception in your efforts to get things done decently.

Robb said...

There is little I enjoy more when reading that being knocked over by the plainest of language.

"there is this sound of the ice breaking

"now there is the sound

"of the splash."

Picking myself up now.

TC said...

Thanks Robb, this picks me up.

Anonymous said...

The sound of the ice breaking... It's Earth calling for us to become aware.

There is a mountain in Bariloche called Tronador (Thunderer). It received its name from the sounds the ice makes when its seracs break off. There is one spot known as Ventisquero Negro (black snowdrift). Its colour responds to the sediments the ice picks up from the soil in the accummulation zone. It is very sad to accept that in the last few years, Ventisquero Negro has become a mere pond.

TC said...

It is so very sad and so very difficult to accept so many of the things that are happening to this beleaguered planet.

Here the hurricane season is approaching, and there are concerns about the spread of not only the oil in the Gulf but the chemical "dispersants" (equally toxic) which have been unsuccessfully deployed to dispel the oil.

End-of-the-World websites are popping up by the hundreds every day...