The midnight sun is a companion to the people. It rises and sets to the heartbeat of a different kind of time: one set by the creep of ice and the break of earth. The black mountains that rise from the roiling seas and turn green with grass and forests and white with snow caps before they etch themselves across the sky: these are the rhythms of a dream. Long have we sought to share this world dreamt and lived by our brothers and sisters in the deep north where all of us once tread, long ago, on our many long journeys home. Even for us, this sojourn is a kind of homecoming. Because this is their home: the Athabascans and the Yup’ik and the Tlingit and the Unangan and the Haida, and so many others. We are here to hear their stories and their readings of the land they’ve known since the beginning, in this time as the earth is changing, and its shape is still a vision waiting to be imagined.
Summer mountains breathe
time streams of ancient water—
We step into Alaska from the airport in Anchorage, and the road into that world stretches so deep and wide before us. We sleep in the city tonight, before heading into the wild.