Scatter my Ashes in the Fields Up Top
Restless with wanderlust and anxious for adventure, a big-city woman’s life is forever changed when she encounters a completely different world: One of teeming nature, landscaped vistas, communion with animals, and the free human spirit. All this in the wild backcountry of the Yukon. There she meets local icon Mabel Brewster, owner of the nearby equine stable, who is known for her extensive knowledge of the land, her stubborn grit and self-sufficiency, and her uncanny rapport with horses. A series of breathtaking journeys, perilous adventures, and illuminating life lessons transform these unlikely friends into spiritually bonded soul sisters. Their love withstands the test of twenty-two adventurous years and will forever reverberate in the untamed heart of the majestic North.
Elisabeth Weigand lovingly pens a heart-wrenching tribute to the life of Mabel Brewster (1935-2015), whom she met upon her immigration to Canada’s Yukon Territory in 1993. A stunning retelling of her life in the remote north that is at once spellbinding, light-hearted, beautiful, and heartbreaking. The reader is transported to the last untamed frontier— where raw nature reigns supreme and true friendship never dies.
I hold my hand in front of him. I get sniffed. A velvet nose tentatively nudges my fingers, then brushes across the back of my hand, finally flips the hand right over. I am frozen to the ground.
Then the greatest of all feelings sweeps over me. I own a horse!
With my hands deep into his mane, I start laughing out of pure joy. However, when I try to hug him that seems to be too much. Amigo, my new horse, briskly throws his head up and sets off in a gallop back to his buddies where he finishes with a few impressive jumps and heel kicks.
I turn to my friends, bursting with excitement, and hug each of them, unleashing my happiness with wild abandon.
“Is he saddle broke?” My inexperience asks.
“Oh. Who will be training him?”
“But I have no idea how to do that!”
“Well, then you got to learn it!”
“Oh, my God!”
And that is it. It’s settled. I have to train him.
Lucky me, I had no idea of what I had gotten myself into.
Yukon River Expedition
The travel log Yukon River Expedition recounts a 3200-kilometer long canoe trip down the majestic Yukon River starting at the river’s origin on Marsh Lake in the Yukon, Canada, then venturing all the way to the Bering Sea in Alaska.
Two people – one canoe.
A lot of raw nature, extreme weather, wild and tame animals, wonderful people, and challenges you never knew before.
Over two months we crossed through Canada’s and Alaska’s North in the most traditional transportation means, the canoe.
It was not a trip, but a journey.
To me, a journey is an undertaking of which you know where and when to start, but the end is rather obscure.
We had only a glimpse of an idea of what we were heading for, aerial maps at the best, only one book could be found, published by a group of female cancer survivors, compensated with a lot of enthusiasm, determination, and the eternal lust for the unknown.
Available in German only.
Mit Getoese zerissen die Felsen das rauschende Wasser, als dieses sich aufbaeumte, ueberschlug und wieder zurueckprallte. Eine der schaumgekroenten Wellen packte das Kanu, riss es empor und stuerzte es in das naechste Wellental. Der erste Brecher schlug ueber den Bug. Fuer eine Sekunde war ich wie gelaehmt, unterbrach das kraftvolle Durchziehen des Paddels. Ich war nass bis zur Huefte, und die Ladung schwamm im Bootsrumpf.
Sieben Monate Weisse Einsamkeit
A northern winter, a self-build cabin, nothing but wilderness and no way to get picked up before next spring, which was 7 months away.
This could only become a disaster or a dream.
We were lucky.
It turned into the most fantastic experience in our lives: raw, emotional, wild, and natural. All we ever wanted to be.
During these seven months in perfect solitude, we found a way to each other we never knew was there.
Available in German only.
Das Buschflugzeug ist laengst abgeflogen. Es laesst uns zurueck in den einsamen Taelern der kanadischen Coast Mountains. Sieben Monate Winter liegen vor uns. Sieben fremde und spannende Monate. Um uns erstrecken sich endlosen Weiten and Eis und Schnee, zugefrorene Fluesse und tiefverschneite Paesse. Es gibt nur uns zwei – und eine Huette, die wir im Herbst bauten. Ein Abenteuer beginnt, das unbekannter nicht sein kann. Ohne Kontakt zur Aussenwelt tauchen wir ein in ein Leben urspruenglichster Einsamkeit und finden die Moeglichkeit in einer Weise zueinander zu finden, die es so nirgendwo sonst geben kann.
Das Abenteuer beginnt.
Um uns und in uns.
Circumpolar Duet Singular Plurality
The first Circumpolar Duet project was born in 2017 as part of the national Culture Days celebration in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada. The idea came from Heidi Hehn, who had attended the Whitehorse launch of a Finnish anthology called poem.a in 2016. While listening to the poems & stories inspired by the circumpolar north, Hehn immediately envisioned visual art.
She shared her ideas with local poet kjmunro, and the first ekphrastic project was born.
In it ten visual artists were paired with ten literary artists. After having each artist created a piece of their own first, these pieces were swapped and had to inspire a second piece of each artist.
The result was 40 pieces of art from the visual and literary world of the North.
In 2019 another Circumpolar Duet project came to Whitehorse.
This year the initial inspiration was the theme which Canada had chosen as Guest of Honour country when participating at the Frankfurt Book in October 2020:
Again ten visual artists and ten literary artists were paired and 40 new pieces of art were created.
This year a publication showcasing all of the results had been printed.
Major thanks to Heidi Hehn for the initial concept, to Martin Berkman for the photography and to Leslie Leong for her hours of design in this publication.
Most of all to haiku poet kjmunro to bring this project together
Circumpolar Duet is a collaboration of northern artists from Yukon Artists @ Work and Yukon Writers’ Collective Ink.
Elisabeth Weigand’s piece “Tomorrow does not exist” was inspired by Martha Jane Ritchie’s linocut: ARNICA, printed with soy based ink on rag paper.
Tomorrow does not exist
We came from a land of plenty.
And arrived in the land of a million amazements. A million different shades, sounds and scents, a million different landscapes, and people as diverse as the petals of a flower. A million obtainable opportunities.
We started a transplanted life. With fresh and sometimes unfamiliar nutrition that made us flourish and bloom.
In unpolluted ground, and where the sky is still open, we grew strong and erect. Our feet rooted solidly in northern soil, with shoulders straight and the faces turned to the sun.
A million different days await, to be filled with strive and expansion.
Blossoming to our full potential.
And when the time comes, not soon, but without doubt, and the petals fall, they fall on this land. Knowledge that gives me piece today.
Tomorrow does not exist. Yet.
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