Norway. His Norwegian year.
He wondered whether he should press further north. Wondered whether he should head north with a guide, across the mountains. Across the ice-field. Wondered whether he shouldn’t seek to ascend across the great glacier, striding over crevasses, back to its point of origin. He wondered whether it wasn’t there, in the high snow-field, where snow feel and was compacted and became ice, that he might have his highest thoughts. His clearest thoughts.
He dreamt of taking a logical expedition to the north. To the farthest north. He dreamt of venturing forth, with a notebook in his pocket a solitary guide. He dreamt of heading where no sane man would ever go. He dreamt of the villagers trying to dissuade him. To stop him from going. He dreamt of being able to find no guide, and resolving, therefore to go alone. He dreamt of his preparations for setting off. Of learning to breathe at high altitude. Of taking deeper and deeper breaths. Of acclimatising himself to the far north and the farther north. And he dreamt of setting off, one crisp, clear morning. Of setting off, before anyone had awoken, as dawn broke. Of climbing up and up and up, following the course of the river to the foot of the glacier, and then climbing up onto the ice. And then walking forth across the ice, up and only up, the sunlight glinting in his eyes.
He dreamt of the plaque left to commemorate his descent. Of the legends that would remain of his disappearance. He dreamt of what the villagers would repeat to outsiders. He dreamt of the searches to find him. Of rescue helicopters low over the slopes.
And he dreamt of his own dead body, somewhere high and far and sun-touched. He dreamt of his frozen body, there above the clouds, there in the element of truth. There where the winter sun blazes. There where everything is frost-fire sharp and ice-clear.And he dreamt of his frozen notebooks, full of truth. He dreamt of his indecipherable writing, full of truth. He dreamt of the path he had trailed that none could follow. He dreamt that he had died of truth, of terrible truth. That truth had thrown his spear through him. That truth’s tears had frozen on his cheeks.