23 September: On the ferry north, as expected (or hoped after the relative disappointment of Greenland’s coast), it is mountains covered in trees and islands, inlets, islets, water cascading down from remnant snow, and communities and houses strung out irregularly. Words have become repetitive and inadequate, and it comes down to feeling and inner reaction and wonder. A measure of envy, also; I have the sense I ought to have been born, grown up and lived in places like these. There are more houses than I expected but it’s a tradition among Nordics to have summer places so I’m sure many are second homes.
Mile after mile, how can this be? Will it end?
I don’t want to go too far in idealizing the small communities I keep mentioning; I know that people can flourish or not regardless of where they are. But I have an interest in the social arrangements that are apt to provide the best foundation and setting for solidarity, individuality, and social health (which tends to promote individual well-being simultaneously). If I inventory the characteristics of such places they include: existence that respects local Nature; relatively low population (not sure how many that allows but it requires face-to-face contact with a large portion of one’s fellows and communal engagement with social/political arrangements); minimal economic inequality within contexts that promote and enable optimal diversity and self-expression; solidarity (group consciousness) in which “your suffering is my suffering and we work together for alleviation”; economy subservient to the good of the community