The liquid sea has the color and sheen of a black grand piano. Pack ice drifts in ghostly forms along the horizon. Out of sight, beyond the curve of the horizon, lies Greenland. (from “The Ultimate Arctic Expedition,” by Anthony Doerr, Condé Nast Traveler, November 2013)
Over this past weekend I finished reading Anthony Doerr’s forthcoming novel – All the Light We Cannot See, on sale in May 2014 – but before I tell you how AMAZING it was (quite possibly his best piece of writing yet), you should check out the essay he has in the November Condé Nast Traveler. The mag sent him up into the Canadian Artic on an exorbitantly priced expedition to track narwhals, watch birds, listen to seals, and look for polar bears. But what he discovered was far more personal and profound.
This is why I’ve come – to see the long, shimmering spirals of birds and to hear them; to remind myself that the world includes mysteries so ancient and so enormous the human mind will never fully make sense of them.