An Arctic AlphapetThere I am, holed up in a frozen land, listening for the ice to creek and the wind to howl in that intimate and foreboding way, with only these cards for company. I spread them out before me and enjoy the feel of the Greenlandic words on the tip of my tongue and the feel of my English-driven brain turning them over and over trying to fit them with the translations. I smooth my finger over images of icebergs - vistas floating by; and I’ll find a home for the night in their glow.
In the morning I’ll wake and clutch them to me in their aqua blue envelope and look out across miles and miles of ice and feel they are my only true guide on this mapless journey. I, as journeyman, can look to these cards when I feel hopeless, snow blind, unskilled at my work and wandering lost in the imagined landscape and know that people with beautiful words had been here long before me, understood it more than me.
This place, only half-remembered, with its cold and its ice, searing into flesh. Some memory of it as origin; ice as beginning, ape carved of glaciers, and now very likely ending too.
This is creative response in the guise of a review. All images belong to Nancy Campbell and are from How to Say I Love You in Greenlandic:An Arctic Alphabet.You can buy a copy of Nancy Campbell’s beautiful book from Miel. If you’re going to buy one beautiful item then this should be it.