I have been reading a number of things lately by the author Thomas Moore, who in The Re-enchantment of Everyday Life and elsewhere urges us to meditate on places that have the quality of temenos--a Greek term for land marked off as sacred, apart from the everyday, a sanctuary. I've been thinking about the places I've been that had that quality, that took me out of my ordinary existence and made me aware of the sacred in the everyday.
College Fjord, in Prince William Sound, Alaska, is one of those places. I've been there several times, most recently as Expedition Artist on the 2001 Harriman Alaska Expedition, a commemorative and exploratory retracing of the route of the last great exploring expedition to Alaska, the Harriman Expedition of 1899. The day we sailed into College Fjord was crystal clear, and that extraordinary basin of tidewater glaciers seemed surreal in the dawn light. I remember it like this...not just filled with drama, clarity, and light, but magically transformed, transcendent.