Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Candidates for Ultima Thule

Since Pytheas, the sailor from ancient Greece, travelled by sea and land from Marseille to the North of the British Isles, the myth of finding the Thule he described, a northern land with sunny nights surrounded by solid iced sea where people lived in peace and happiness, has remained through centuries one of a kind, like the Graal or Atlantis.

Candidates for Thule surged and were discarded by some one after the other:

The Hebrides
The Shetland Islands
The Faröe Islands
The coast of Norway, from Trondheim up to the Lofoten isles
The Svalbard Islands
The Island of Saaremaa, Estonia

These are my lands of dream. These are my destinations. I hear their call.

Thule means nothing nowadays. An US air base in Greenland, the name of pre-inuit artic people, some poetic quotations. For me, it names all the territories I feel I belong to, where I wish I could live, all the legends and mythologies I love, all the towns and villages I long to visit, all the landscape of ice caps, glaciers, mountains, fishing harbours, dog sledges, white rabbits and deep blessed loneliness I want around me.