My stepfather, James Kestell, passed away yesterday morning. He died with his son, nephew, and my two brothers as witnesses. Thinking about his passage onwards, my mind can’t help but recall some of the landscapes I wandered through last winter–in Iceland outside Reykjavik and along the mouth of the Snaefell peninsula, and in the arctic mountain plains outside of Tromso, Norway.
The intense saturation of blue at the cusp of the long nightfall holds the sky with a heavy physicality. The horizon disappears, and distances recede into you with profound intimacy. These landscapes helped me emit an immense grief. The endless wind that poured over the Atlantic and rolled across these icy plains simply pulled grief out of me, letting it roll with pale tendrils across white and blue reaches into un-nameability. Into far span, into farewell and soft light. I was called back into my humanity by my encounter with these severe landscapes. Maybe you will be, too.