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  • Seth Kantner

March 23, 2020

It's still gray, windy and snowy here in Kotzebue, a relentless "parade of storms" as the weather service chose to term it. Better than a virus of blizzards, I guess--which we are kind of used to here along the Bering Straits. The sky feels similar to the weather in my head and I'm finding myself really looking forward to seeing the sun someday again. Over the roar of the wind it has been reassuring to see and hear the Alaska Airlines jet appear. The word that comes to mind is heart-warming. (That's a term I've never used before, although spotting a plane coming when I have really needed one has definitely been that, many times in my life.) I mean just that we are still connected, not cut off. Equally reassuring is seeing the countless daily mail planes here launch to the villages, the freight planes, and the 206's of my friends Eric and Jared and Jason, pilots down at the air-taxi services, heading up into the sky, with dangerous conditions not just outside their planes but now inside too. What a brave thing to be doing. I can't help wondering if this storm our nation is presently hunkering down in might bring clearer visibility ahead. I hope so. I mean, we will have to dig out. But Americans have been in a fog lately, losing sight of what to believe and especially what to value. I've had the hardest time with that in my life--knowing what to value. Before I spent time in public high school and before college, I absolutely KNEW things like how important it was to skin wolverine paws properly. (Kind of simplistic, and super embarrassing now!) I also knew to be absolutely careful with your gun, keep your knife sharp, always carry matches, be generous to strangers, stuff like that. I know--not much, but those were things I believed were important. They were important. At school, rapidly and repeatedly I was "informed" that I was, lets just say it, R&TARDED, and those things were meaningless, backwards, even evil. I mean, I'm stubborn and couldn't ever stop valuing hunting for my food, growing food, knowing the land where my food came from, friends and good tools, an accurate rifle, ect--but attempting to mesh my values with Real World values was where I walked straight into a fogbank. And never came out. It's a tough one; I think most of us have gone into that fogbank, at least partially, for many reasons. I worry about kids lost there, nowadays. Well, about everybody, I guess. Anyway, I'm hoping for sun and improved visibility on the horizon, and that what is most important in our country can become clearer. I'm thinking simple stuff. Like widespread kindness, things like that. And thank you, to all the different kinds of pilots flying us through.


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©Seth Kantner
Alaska Wildlife Photography  |  Alaska Writer

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