An artist led us across boulders covered with electric green moss and worried about the lack of snow this season, something she hasn’t seen after living on this island for thirty years. “Usually we have some snow in November, December, and certainly January.” In Finland, they call it a black winter when it doesn’t snow. Snow has psychological importance here: it reflects the light and makes the long hours of Nordic darkness less oppressive. Instead there is only rain and mist. The town’s priest also apologized for the warm weather. “This new climate is beyond me,” he said.

Rafael Anton Irisarri – Coastal Trapped Disturbance

From Solastalgia | Room 40, 2019 | Bandcamp

Symphonic ambience that sounds like an elegy for snow fields and decaying glaciers. This album introduced me to the defining word for this new decade: solastalgia, the mental or existential distress caused by environmental change.

Each night in 2020, I wrote a short post for a series called Notes From the End of a World because I wanted to etch these days into my memory. Before the world changed completely.
Notify of
1 Comment
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
3 years ago

Beautiful and poignant, as always. Thank you for your posts. Amid a 24 hour news cycle that just amps up the despair, your words offer a space to reflect, mourn, contemplate— but don’t offer escapism. And that is, I think, exactly what we need at this critical juncture.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x