msb ~069 Loss, light and ice

Loss, light and ice  

Library of Ice by Nancy Campbell
Loss and light in the Library of Ice

I published ClimateCultures’ latest post this morning: Sally Moss’ review of The Library of Ice: Readings from a Cold Climate, by Nancy Campbell. Both are fine pieces of work! I’ve just started listening to The Library of Ice audiobook and am enjoying Nancy’s vivid imagery, her thoughtful reflections.

Early on in the introduction, she describes her day job at a manuscript dealer prior to her artist’s residency in Greenland – a formative experience for the book. A photographer bearing a box of transparencies of an abandoned and ruined family house invited Nancy to write for the exhibition. “How do you write about that kind of loss?” Nancy wondered and found herself researching the science of photography as a way in.

“I discovered that light was reassuringly predictable: it travelled in a straight line … over millions of miles and arrived faithfully on our planet even when the stars it had come from had burnt out. The lives which it illuminated, by contrast, were all too brief. Ice would be a better metaphor for the human condition – part of an endless cycle of change.” A delicate, sideways observation which places human and deep time together, apart. I’m looking forward to more!

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