Above the Ice

Original article published in The Paris Review, by Colin Dickey. Grief and Adventure on the Path to the North Pole.For two weeks in the summer of 2013, I traveled around the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard as part of The Arctic Circle Residency, proceeding up the west coast of the main island, Spitsbergen, and making landfall at tiny settlements and untrammeled beaches at the edge of the known world. At one point, our course took us into a small fjord where we sailed past an abandoned mining town called Blomstrandhalvoya; a research station, Ny-Ålesund, on the opposite shore; and, farther…