tonight is samhain, the witches’ new year. the nights are getting long. mørketida, they say in svalbard norwegian, the darktime. the sun looped below the horizon there for the last time this year a few nights ago, which i know not through research but because i follow svalbard on instagram with the jealous attention of an ex-lover.
i got a tattoo last week from a baby-faced boy in carhartt overalls and a baseball hat. i thought the overalls were just pretension but he turned out to be from the same place as me. the tattoo shop had a good vibe to it: gay, lots of plants, high ceilings and fall light pouring through the tall windows, a lot of kind young people in genderless haircuts. outside the sun was going down in a signal flare of pink and gold. my tattooer and i talked about growing up in little northwestern towns and how complicated it is to go home when home is only ever one place and it is a place that no longer recognizes you. a couple of nights ago a friend i made in the arctic came through town and stayed with me. we spent hours looking through her pictures; she was on the ship’s crew and it was a lot of pictures. you don’t have to watch all my videos of ice, she said. are you kidding, i said. we watched all the videos of ice. six months ago you had no idea the arctic was going to happen to you, she said. think where you could be six months from now.
i don’t mean to sound like a self-help blogger, but listen: the journey is unexpected, which is most of its terror and all of its joy.
it’s easy in this timeline to forget there could be a different kind of future. all current indications are grim. but here we are in our messy human skins, our bloody hearts still beating. i want to say everything will be okay but i don’t actually think that’s true. and yet: our bodies may be governed by the law but our stories are lived outside it.
i don’t know what happens next. anyway, i started writing again.